Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lions and Flamingos and Gorillas...Oh My.

It has been proven that animals can relieve stress. Petting a purring cat, tossing a ball around with your dog. There is even a place in Tokyo called Cats Livin' that charges customers $8 to, ah, well, hang out with a room full of cats. A different kind of cat house to be sure.
Granted, most of the aforementioned animals are pets. Not wild animals. But, yesterday during a trip to the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park I was able to reap the benefits of my photographic interaction with the critters. Before I go any further though, it's worth mentioning that I was actually recruited by my 17-year-old as a driver/chauffeur for his high school AP biology class's field trip. Having said that, spending the day with my son had it's own benefits.

Any job these days comes with its share of stress, and taking a day off during the middle of the week was a great way to blow off the proverbial steam. I didn't get to pet a purring lion or play fetch with a gorilla but it was certainly calming to weave all the elements of the trip into a restful and meaningful experience. Did you know that in the gorilla culture it's impolite to stare? I asked permission before taking this gorilla's photo. He said no problem but it was going to cost me one highly-overpriced fruit slushy from one of the park's vendors. It was a small price to pay.

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