Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Travel: Cleveland Zoo

We ended up meeting family yesterday at the Cleveland Zoo. I had never been to the Cleveland Zoo; indeed, I think this was my first time really stopping anywhere in Cleveland, though I have driven through several times.

The zoo turned out to be a very positive surprise, which may say more about my priors regarding Cleveland than the zoo itself. In any event, it is large, clean, beautifully landscaped, well-organized. Much of it appears to be recently remodeled. It is organized into zones like a theme park; we got through the Australian, African and rainforest zones; overall I would say we did about a third of what there is to do during our four-hour visit. I thought the rainforest part, which is inside a large climate-controlled building, was the most impressive of what we saw.

This zoo is on the middle of the spectrum of zoo styles that runs from "amusement park with animals" to "we will allow you to be entertained while we do science if you give us money but don't expect us to approve". This means that while there is lots of scientific information about as well as lots of ecologically motivated moral claims (including a quote from the great moral philosopher Sting), there are also slides and mazes and camel rides and such like to entertain younger visitors. And, indeed, the younger visitors in our group - ages 4, 5 and 10 - all quite enjoyed the outing.


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