Saturday, December 5, 2009
My trip to the Bronx Zoo (Rejected by the New York Times)
It has been years since I've visited my friends at the Bronx Zoo. I decided to take a field trip there and give you the scoop on all the new stuff they have! Eco bathrooms, Astor court, the Congo Gorilla Forest, and of course, the Wild Asia monorail! So exciting!!! It took about two hours to get there, so I left a bit early. I took the 5 train all the way to Southern Blvd. and had to hoof the rest. I came in the south gate entrance, and had to plan my round in the zoo based on that.
The first place I decided to hit because I wanted to have an even flow around the place, was the pheasant aviary... It was horridly boring. I moved on to the Gorillas. They were awesome, hooting and hollering, and throwing stuff at the hopefully bulletproof glass.. Maybe that last one was because I kept acting like I was going to poach their pelts, or that's what I kept telling them. From there I went to the wild African dogs, and the giraffe building. Those dudes are tall, like, really really tall. Somehow I ended up in the middle of the African Plains part, and when I say in the middle, I mean right in the middle of the exhibit. I don't think I was supposed to be there, the zoo staff was positive I wasn't supposed to be in there. After a lengthy explanation, they played right into my plan to make them think I was just an idiot. Damn, I love being an investigative reporter.
As I left the administration building at the Asia gate, somehow I had managed to maintain my original path around the park! I went to jungle world, and saw the tigers, one of my favorite! I saw the monkeys (yes, flinging poo) and I saw some fishies, it seemed odd, to house all of the tigers favorite foods right next door, but it is not my place to say so. I did anyway. The staff didn't seem too happy about my suggestion to separate them for fear of the monkeys being tiger food. A six year old started to cry due to my observation, I decided it was time to go. I left the monkey death house in favor of the "Wild Asia Monorail", which begged the question... "How lazy are these animals?" I found no animals on the monorail, my guess was because they didn't have jobs. I left the monorail area and took a right, and followed the left fork in the road... I got to the lions, they seemed very unimpressed when I flashed my press pass, which I had made on the train out of a permanent marker and the back of my monorail ticket. Without having a single piece of usable interview from the lions, I kept moving. I saw the baboons, not too impressive though. I decided to go into the "World of Darkness" exhibit, where I promptly fell down three flights of stairs. When I awoke from my stupor, I found myself inside of one of the displays... Unfortunately for me it was the man-eating snake display. Luckily, I had my stun gun with me, because elephants never forget. After my brief (yet exhausting) battle with the giant behemoth of an animal, I stood victorious! They immediately threw me out of the "World of Darkness".
That's when I hit the highlight of my trip. I was heading in the direction of the Big Bears exhibit. I was pleased to see the grizzly, he was a big mofo! When I arrived at the polar bear exhibit, it was all roped off with coverings around it. I poked around and asked a worker bee what the hell was going on, because I wanted to see the fucking polar bear. He told e some fancy scientist from the arctic circle was conducting an experiment with robots interacting with them. So I punched him in the throat and flashed my press pass. I may have punched him much harder than intended, he hit the floor and waved his arm in one wild unconscious motion. I took this as a sign that my credentials were valid, and proceeded into the tent like structure blocking my inquisitive view. What I saw there, was just spectacular! I saw the experiment they were conducting, a polar bear knife fighting a robot. Fucking brilliant. I snapped a few shots before the security guard chased me two feet and slipped on a banana peel. Thanks monkeys!
I didn't think anything could top that, I mean, come on! So I decided to just breeze through the rest of the park, reminiscing about my extraordinary luck to be at the zoo the very same day that they were conducting such a bad-ass experiment. I went to the Himalayan highlands area, saw a snow leopard, and a bird... Once again these people are so comfortable putting predators right next to their natural prey. I continued on my way, taking a left along a very very long path. It had one squirrel on it, one. I didn't think the zoo would just forget about an entire nearly mile-long stretch of land, but they put a squirrel in it, so that works I suppose. This path lead me to the new Eco restroom. It was pretty impressive, I'd have to say. Not much more than a bathroom though. On my way back to where I originally came from I had a few nifty exhibits to look at, so I continued on my way happily. I passed up the world of birds, however. having striking visions of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds". Moving instead to the bison area... Which made me crave for a bison burger. I went to the concession stand and asked if they had any. They said no, of course. I thought to myself, "How could a place that actually has bison, not have a bison burger?" Flabbergasted, I stomped towards the zoo center to complain about that. Once again, my credentials were not recognized for the hard-hitting journalistic appeal I usually muster. Being waved off, I decided to leave for the day. Having a satisfying trip (Just because of the polar bear robot knife fight) I may end up taking another trip sometime in the near future.
It was on the way home that the most intense thing of the day happened. I was waiting for the 5 train around 4:45 PM, and that's when it happened. I was simply sitting there, giggling like a pansie about the polar bear robot knife fight pictures I managed to obtain, when a group of ninjas popped out of nowhere. Everyone fled. Me, being the die-hard giver of facts that I am, decided to stay and cover the event for future pubication. I wasn't sure why they were there in full fighting attire, but I was sure as hell going to find out. After a few moments, a couple samurai tromped down the stairs in full battle armor. Now this was getting good. The ninjas spared no time in attacking, they launched a furry of suruiken and stars at the samurai, they seemed unphased, and charged with a full battle cry that nearly made me shit mysef. There was a battle that lasted a whole three minutes and 47 seconds. One samurai remained, and two ninjas. I was impressed with the samurai, the ninjas just flipped off, most likely because they had to get some shoes.
I was pleased with my day at the zoo. I saw a lot of cool animals, some not so cool animals. A polar bear knife fighting a robot, which I didn't think I will ever see again in my entire life. Unless that experiment pans out, I guess. I got thrown out of a few places, almost eaten by a snake, nearly pummeled by a gorilla. Pretty good story all around, I presented it to my editor. He sneezed and used it as a tissue, even though he was holding a tissue in his left hand. Asshole. So here it is, not in the news, but on my blog. And that was my trip to the zoo. Maybe next time you could come with, you know, just to watch my back!n The pics will come soon! Not having a card reader is a bitch... Damn monkeys.