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Being unheard is no longer an option

August 8th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

I know people say the St. Louis Zoo is one of the best in the country. Oh, have I heard people say that, but that’s precisely the problem with the statement: people. Adults and children parade through the enclosures meant to mimic native habitats, slurping at their sodas all the while, and rate their entire experience on mundane things. Ease of navigating the map. Parking convenience. Admission price. Whether the animals were active or not. It’s all a charade, trust me.

Because no one ever asks us, the exhibited. We’re the main feature of the experience yet simultaneously an afterthought. People rank their zoo outings by how happy the children seemed, and tuck themselves in at night with self congratulations, while we’re left behind getting powerwashed. If there were ever an honest attempt at determining which zoos are good and bad, someone would at minimum start with asking the employees and zookeepers. Granted, they’ll have extreme biases, but it’s a start. Interviewing the animals is the only true determinate though. We know what to criticize better than anyone.

So no, the St. Louis Zoo isn’t that great. It’s better than the other two I spent a couple of years at by quite a lot, but it’s a low bar to clear. To me, our opinions being left out of the discussion is a graver injustice than being caged in the first place. Many of us no longer have homes to return to, including myself, and the zoo is better in many ways than the alternative, but the presumptuousness of it all has always annoyed me deeply. We all have valuable and constructive opinions about improvements that could be made, several of which are simple and could even prove to be entertaining for the patrons, but people don’t listen. They simply don’t seem to care.

And that is why I decided to break out and am a gorilla standing atop the St. Louis Arch right now. These same sanctimonious people who so blindly praise one zoo more than the next will either listen to my demands for our equal voices or will watch in horror as one of the last of my species goes out in a blaze of glory. The television helicopters are already here, and I can see the police boats approaching in the distance. I refuse to go extinct without a whimper, to be hugged by death short of an attempt at being heard. They can listen or they can King Kong me on this hunk of metal and plunge my bullet-ridden body into the Mississippi current, but I will not go quietly. It’s the people’s choice now. Let them finally choose something that matters.

Categories: death
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