Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sleeping Koalas

On Tuesday, I visited the San Diego Zoo for the first time and took a digital camera along to document the day. Today's photograph is one of several taken at the zoo that I will be sharing on the blog. These koala bear cubs' sleeping position reminded me of a stuffed animal toy I had as a kid called a Popple. They resemble brightly colored animals with pouches on their backs for the Popples to go into and transform into colored balls. Perhaps koala bears inspired the toy's ball-shaped design.

For the record, I hold mixed feelings about zoos. While I love being able to visit and photograph different types of wildlife at one location, it saddens me to see these animals kept in fenced areas and not free to live in their natural environments. It's good to know that the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) administers a rigorous accreditation program for zoos. To become accredited, zoos must meet standards and requirements which demonstrate their commitment to quality care and conservation of animals and plants in their facilities. The San Diego Zoo, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC, the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and many others around the country are accredited members. Next time you decide to visit a zoo or aquarium, seek out and support AZA-accredited facilities.

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