When I visit Mysore, the zoo is one of the must see places. Even if I have seen the same animals time and again, I just can’t seem to miss a trip to the zoo when I am in Mysore. It’s official name is Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, and my guess is that if you ask a thousand people in Mysore about the name of the zoo, 999 of them will simply call it the zoo and would not have heard of its official name. The other person works for the zoo.
Well, there is something intriguing about animals. The way they are, with all the wonderful colors they wear and its style and persona that they never lose, even if they live far away from home, away from their natural habitats. Genetics is a topic that man could never wrap his head around, no matter the scientific discovery heights we reach.
I cannot help but question keeping animals in captivity. A tiger or a lion is a naturally fierce animal, and born to kill other animals for food. If we are going to keep them in captivity and feed them cold meat, will it still wear its stripes and be a tiger that it should be. Think about us. Most of us work and earn our keeps. Some don’t. They live off their ancestors’ wealth. What’s the difference between the two of us? These are some things to ponder over. How do we change if we don’t have what it takes to live life on our terms, to be dependent on somebody else. I am not saying that I have an answer but at times, pity the super rich who have nothing else to do but spend money.
I have a sinking feeling that these animals are like prisoners and cannot do what they please. But on the other side of the argument, it’s not like they have been captured from the jungle and brought here. They are very likely to be born in a zoo and will spend the rest of the lives here. We destroy forests, and keep them here in the name of education, saving the species and maybe entertainment too. While I understand that we would not have the opportunity to see all these beautiful animals in wilderness if zoos did not exist, I half heartedly question the right that we humans have given ourselves to cage the animals and make them be seen by paying visitors. This just feels wrong. Like I said, this is a half hearted attempt and possibly hypocrisy because I love to go to the zoo and watch the animals. I don’t have the right to judge but the thoughts linger around.
I want to share a story which my mom tells me every chance she gets, especially when we talk about the Mysore Zoo. My parents had taken me to the zoo when I was about 5 years old and while they were showing around near the tiger cage, a crow flew past me. My mother tells me that I was super excited to see the crow over the beast, that’s the tiger that stood five feet away from me. I was happy and glee to see a crow that I get to see everyday than a tiger which I was possibly seeing for the first time face to face. Can you believe that?
The Mysore Zoo is clean and there are a number of measures that the management undertakes to keep it that way. Mysore was the cleanest city a few years back and I hope to see a fierce competition for this title between all our cities. How wonderful it would be if cities competed against one other for the cleanliness award!
If you are planning to visit the Mysore zoo, do know that there is a buggy available for a nominal cost. What you normally cover by foot in about 4 hours, you can do that in under an hour. Talk about our fast paced lives! Zoo should definitely be seen on foot, to observe the animals and learn a trick or two from them.
A trip to the Mysore invokes thoughts, ideas and reminisces the past stories. Such a wonderful place! A must visit place if you are in Mysore.
Do let me know your thoughts on the questions that I have raised in this video.
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