It’s a universally acknowledged fact that kids love animals, but for Ghazal, my 3 year-old niece, it’s not only love, it’s a passion. You can see it in her eyes when she sees a cat, a dog or a horse; she simply loses her mind. So, that’s one major reason why we went on what turned out to be an eye-opening trip to discover the reality of zoos in Jordan.
First, we went to Jordan Zoo in Madaba street. Well, let’s say we weren’t very impressed. That’s to say it was disappointing to see the Lions and the Jaguars lying asleep looking like carcasses, didn’t seem to be getting optimal care if you ask me. Can you imagine meeting the black majestic jaguar face to face only to have that experience ruined by the exhaustion and possibly lack of care that seemed to have their toll on the big, incredibly gorgeous cat? Well, if you don’t get the picture here’s what it looks like:
Anyway, after that we went to another zoo in The King of Bahrain’s forest, Ghamadan Zoo, and I must say that was impressive. Healthy lions, growling cheetas, a guide to show us around –especially that we were the only ones there as it was 1 hour before Iftar-. What really impressed me is the way the guide, who’s the zoo keeper, deals with the animals, which is good for the animals themselves because he knows them and they know him so he doesn’t need to resort to violence like what happens when they change the zoo keeper every couple of months, especially after anesthetizing the animals was banned in zoos.
It was also nice to see that almost every animal has a name, and they answer to their names. There’s Laith the Lion, Jaber the bear, Ward and Wardah the cheetahs and their daughter Zahra, Sa3eed and Su3ad the Baboons and their daughter Sa3dah. It’s also worth mentioning that the zoo was pretty clean and the animals too, and no it didn’t smell bad!
I tried to take some pictures but the cages and bars weren’t helping. Here’s some of what I came out with, from both zoos…