October 25th 2015
Today we went to a free zoo.
Let me reword that for emphasis.
A zoo, that was free.
And you’d expect that to mean a field with a couple of horses in it, but honestly it was pretty brilliant considering it was free. There was lions, rhinos, bears, leopards, hyenas, wolves, and all the fun stuff.
To begin with it was a bit “I see why this is free, because I don’t see any animals.” But I think that was just because it was the hottest point of the day and the wolves were off sleeping somewhere. When the clouds came in as cover the animals crept out.
The biggest compliment I can give the zoo is that I would’ve happily paid for it.
It’s in Montpellier, France, and as far as I am aware it is called “Montpellier Zoo” but “zoo” is in French, which makes it a far more complicated phrase than just “zoo”
I liked this zoo because it was free, but not for the fact that it meant I didn’t have to pay to get in.
Bear with me. (Pardon the pun)
It being free means that the zoo is not a business, the park owners are not looking to make money. There’s a restaurant and an Amazonian exhibit that you can pay to go in if you like, but you have literally no obligation to spend a single penny the entire day. We didn’t. So that means that the only reason the zoo owners own a zoo is because they want to. They aren’t being exploitative (didn’t think that was a word, but it is) they aren’t being capitalistic, they just want to have a zoo, they want to look after some animals, and they want other people to enjoy the animals.
And I think that that’s what zoos should be about. A mutual admiration for animals.
The optional exhibit and the restaurant probably earn enough capital to pay for the animals food and upkeep, as well as the wages of its staff (which to be fair, there didn’t seem to be many of) so the zoo probably just about breaks even.
And it’s been that way since it opened.
I don’t know who owns it, or why they’ve decided to make it free to visit. But it’s pretty awesome that they have.
Until tomorrow, I didn’t see any wolves.