Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Zoo That Time Forgot - Part C

Okay, we've explored the Aquarium and the Round Barn. Let's move on to the growth opportunities lurking under that big C:

We'll start at the south end, with Penguin Rock:

I remember this being "Monkey Island" back in the day, with spider monkeys and goats scrambling all over it. Can anyone confirm that?

Maybe it was all just one of those bizarre dreams... but anyway, now it's called Penguin Rock.

Last summer a loudspeaker on top of Penguin Rock would sporadically blare 30 seconds of the rock-n-roll stylings of Aerosmith or a similarly bitchin' band, then it would go silent again. It kind of freaked me out, man, and I can't imagine the penguins were huge fans.

I haven't heard Penguin Rock rocking out for awhile, so maybe the Zoo decided to ditch the punny antics.

The weebly-wobbly penguins are cute and whatnot, and you can tell they'd be awesome swimmers if they had room to really spread themselves, but that big rock fakey mountain is insurmountable to their stubby legs. The cormorant that mopes around the place looks like it's got clipped wings and can't enjoy those giddy heights, either.

There's a lot of wasted vertical space in that exhibit.

Next up, the two white pelicans that inhabit the old sea lion pool:

I don't have much to say about this exhibit. I like white pelicans, but I prefer to see them whirling in great majestic flocks above the Mississippi River.

Here's the north half of the pool, starring those lucky, lucky trumpeter swans:

We already know they're going to a better place by-and-by.

So basically, I doubt anyone would miss Penguin Rock or the old sea lion pool if that primo real estate was replaced by a shiny new exhibit of any variety.

Finally, at the northern tip of Section C, we have the "Asian Garden." This photo is looking southwesterly, with the west side of the Round Barn at the top right and the north side of the old sea lion pool at the top left.

This is a nice restful patch of green space. I enjoy the understated details of the landscaping, and I'm certainly not advocating for the wanton destruction of the Asian Garden.

But if you put a snarling grizzly bear to my head and made me choose... well, it's no old growth forest, is it?


john/laura said...

The "rock" was definitely home to mountain goats and monkeys 20 years ago.

gatesofmemphis said...

I think that island had monkeys at some point, therefore making it a literal monkey island.

However, THE Monkey Island was located just north of G. The round spot in the middle of this 1972 overlay is THE Monkey Island:

It was a dark day for me and for the good citizens of Monkey Island when they closed it.