July 5, 2012

Welcome to the Zoo!

While in Yogyakarta we made a trip to the local zoo. We didn't stay too long but it was loads of fun. Being in Central Java we have the opportunity to visit big city tourist destinations such as zoo's, something East Kalimantan most likely has little of. So, it is great to take advantage of it while you can!
The zoo here isn't quite like what you might find back in North America, as the animal encasements seemed to be lacking a little in size. But when it comes to big ol' crocodiles, I'm just glad they were caged.
Below Helena is eyeing up a "naughty ol' crocodile" that seemed to be staring right at us, just daring us to come down for a visit through the hole in the chain link fence.

The sign below reading "Masjid" is pointing to where the in-house Mosque is. It is very common here to see Masjid's at all types of locations, including gas stations, malls, and larger department type stores. As practicing Muslims pray 5 times a day, having a place to pray at is kind of a necessity. Although, at the zoo, there was no call to prayer that I can recollect, only Indonesian kids music blaring on strategically placed loud speakers. But hey, it added to the overall ambiance!
In the picture below, I can't say the chains help conjure up thoughts of a happy carefree life for this particular elephant. It reminded me of years ago when at the local Vancouver Area Zoo (in Aldergrove) there was a lot of protest because the local elephant did not have enough apparent space to roam. He/she was subsequently re-located to some large wildlife refuge in the States. A wee bit different than the situation here!

For a small fee you can ride these elephants, but the rides were closed when we happened to stroll by. I feel this was a good thing, because when one of these guys decide they've finally had enough in their long elephant lives with their lengthy memories of being bored to death, cooped up & chain up, I don't want my kids near them. When elephants get crazy, bad stuff happens. They're really big. Sure, I sound a little spooked, but I also just heard (after we got home) that they had 'trampling' incident at Borobudur fairly recently, as they offer elephant rides there too.
Bumper boats with outboard Merc's!!  We didn't try them but I thought is was worth a picture. To make it more exciting I figured they should throw that big ol' croc in the water.

I think the highlight for the boys was the quads you could take for a spin. And yes, I kept that look on my face from the entire time, as it added to the overall experience.

Amy & Charlotte preferred watching the quads to riding them!

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