Zoo Etiquette 101
Don't Go Too Wild at the Zoo
I realize visiting the zoo is not for everyone. Some people take offense to adorable little (and large) animals being kept in cages at the zoo. Other people prefer to stay away from the unique odor that is only at the zoo. There are still plenty of people that enjoy visiting the zoo even if some folks don't like it. Unfortunately, not everyone that enjoys going to the zoo makes the experience enjoyable for others. There are some definite rules of etiquette zoo visitors are not following while at the zoo.
As usual, I am more than happy to share my rules of etiquette for visiting a zoo. These rules can also easily work for your trip to the aquarium as well. Basically, if you are going to a place to visit critters in cages, tanks, or any other enclosed area, you should read these rules of etiquette and make sure you are not going to be rude while there.
1. You are not the only one that wants to look at the animals.
I've noticed in any zoo or aquarium situations, there are always certain people that want to squeeze their way to the front of the display and then not move for a significant amount of time. This is cool if the zoo is not too packed, but if you can clearly see you are standing in the way of others, take a look at the animals, maybe take a picture, and then move on.
I know, I know, you loveand you want to stare at them for a while. Staring is rude and you are creeping out the zebras! Just keep it moving and help all the other zoo visitors while you are at it. zebras
2. Please don't feed the animals.
I don't know what on earth some zoo patrons are thinking, but feeding the animals is NOT ALLOWED unless otherwise stated. Sometimes you are allowed to feed the animals in a petting zoo situation, but in most zoos, the animals are on a strict diet.
You should never ever under any circumstance think it is a good idea to feed Cheetos to the lion. First of all, "people food" is not intended for most animals. Second, that lion might eat your arm off. You are so wrong for so many reasons when you try to feed the animals, so please stop doing it.
3. Do not torment the animals at all.
Animals are really cute and some even enjoy getting attention from zoo visitors. This is all pretty fun, but did you know many animals don't understand humor? Yes, it is true! Lots of little creatures just don't have a sense of humor.
Now that we've established many animals won't appreciate your attempt at humor, let's reflect on some things you shouldn't do while at the zoo:
- Bang on the glass if the animal is in a tank.
- Yell mean things at the apes.
- Howl at the wolves.
- Pretend you are about to throw your child into a cage.
- Throw items at the animals.
- Press your face against the fence or screen.
4. Don't try to climb in the cage.
Yes, I know, you've been trying to get the perfect photo of asince visiting the zoo. The llama just won't get close to you no matter what you do. You know what you should do? Next time, take a camera that can zoom in for the photo. You know what you shouldn't do? Don't try climbing in the cage with the llama. llama
The animals at the zoo are pretty used to being stared at all day, but that does not mean they are domesticated. They are still wild animals and they can hurt you. Even if you don't get hurt by the zoo animals, you are likely going to scare them and give them nightmares for weeks. Respect the animals and don't do something foolish. At the very least, you will be kicked out of the zoo.
5. Don't take photos if you are asked not to do so.
Some animals scare easily. They really don't like flashes from cameras. Also, if the animal is nocturnal and kept in a dark area, the little guy really doesn't want you to take a photo with a flash camera. If you are asked not to take flash photos, don't take flash photos!
In general, follow the rules and use common sense while at the zoo. If something seems dangerous, it probably is dangerous. If something you are doing seems to be upsetting the animals, it probably is annoying. Remember to read the signs, listen to warnings, and don't freak out the zoo animals! Following the rules of zoo etiquette will keep you and everyone else at the zoo happy.
Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle
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