Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Zoo That Time Forgot - Part E/F

It's time to ink another page in our catalog of the outdated and/or derelict exhibits at the Memphis Zoo. Are we doing this to flex our mockery muscles? No, no, that's just a side benefit. We are doing this in order to illustrate, in clear living color, that the Memphis Zoo has plenty of space to create new and improved exhibits.

There's really no need to clearcut old-growth forest, is there? Our hope is that the leaders of the Memphis Zoo will learn to see the forest and the trees, embrace the principles of smart growth, and mend their sprawling ways.

Imagine all the people, living life in peace...

So far, we've documented the status of the so-called "Aquarium," the ungulates of the Round Barn, and the penguins and pelicans and trumpeter swans (oh my!) that reside in Part C.

Most recently, we plumbed the murky and tragically neglected depths of the G-spot. We were wildly excited to learn that the G-spot is the planned location for the Zambezi River Hippo Camp. It totally turned us on that the Zoo chose such a plump juicy greyfield site for its new exhibit. We'll be squirming in our front row seats at the groundbreaking, that's for sure.

But why stop there? We can't get enough of this hot redevelopment action! Check out the sweet space that'll open up after the hippos are relocated -- this is the section marked F on our big map.

The restrooms next door could use a total makeover, too.

Moving west, into the section marked E on our map, we have the Komodo dragon exhibit and an empty fenced pen that used to hold giant tortoises.

Where have all the giant tortoises gone, long time passing...?

Nothing to see here, folks. Let's mosey on south, through this picnic area, and check out the Herpetarium.

This older but well-maintained building offers an interesting assortment of reptiles and amphibians -- in woefully undersized tanks.

At least that alligator has enough space to paddle around a bit. The poor cottonmouth below? He doesn't even have room to fart. Not more than once, anyway.

It's sad to see a caged snake that can't even stretch out to its full length, and it's impossible to imagine that a semi-aquatic snake could be happy in a dry tank.

Here's the cottonmouth's neighbor:

Is it plausible that a timber rattler would prefer to curl up atop a crappy old tire, when it could be hanging out on a sandstone ledge or a nice hunk of driftwood or even...

waaaait for it...

...smack dab in the middle of a faux highway, with a log truck driver aiming to bring home a nice family-sized bucket of (tastes like) fried chicken for dinner. Looks like somebody at the Memphis Zoo is keeping it real.

Given the cramped spaces in the current Herpetarium and all the nifty sperm-n-egg work that the Zoo's herpetologists are doing with the Mississippi gopher frogs and the Louisiana pine snakes, we think the Herpetarium deserves a major upgrade.

Let's take another look at sections E and F:

Wouldn't this be a stellar location for a multi-level aquarium complex? Imagine a baby version of the Tennessee Aquarium where the reptiles, amphibians, fish, and maybe even the penguins (if they promise to behave) could all have shiny new tanks with plenty of room to play.

You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...


Stacey Greenberg said...

i gotta say, the snake fart line was brilliant. you should take this show on the road!

i've never noticed the faux highway. that is fuct!

seriously, what is up with that alligator? it is ALWAYS in that same spot often leading me to wonder of it is even real.

jccvi said...

last year they had an alligator in the "denizens of the deep south" tank. it was pretty cool to look up under an alligator.

Anonymous said...

Damn, by the size of the road and truck, that timber rattlesnake must be at least 30 feet long! The zoo is going to need another clearcut for this guy.

Naomi Van Tol said...

SG - My darling husband and baby girl are the inspiration behind all of my best fart jokes. They've got the kind of natural talent that I could never fake.

jccvi - I hope you realize that someday I'll meet you in person (because Memphis is just a small town with more people) and my very first thought will be: Oh, so THIS is the guy who enjoys looking up under alligators... that sicko! If you have any plans to run for public office, this is exactly the type of "candid admission" that will come back to haunt you. All the way to your grave.

dubs - It's not the length, really. It's the GIRTH.

jccvi said... out the door)VOTE QUIMBY!