I might be in the minority, and I definitely am in terms of the local mindset here, but I’ve always loved to go to the zoo. I’m not sure if it’s because I love wildlife — because a zoo doesn’t exactly represent the wildlife — or if it’s just the fact that it’s a pretty good getaway from the city life. 

Either way, I’ve always loved going to the zoo. I used to ask mom to take me there when I was a kid. When I was old enough to go by myself, I went there quite a lot of times. I can’t say I have a lot of great memories of visiting the zoo in Dhaka, but that was probably the point, right? I went to the zoo to experience something different. To get away from the busy city life. To be lost into the wilderness; or whatever the zoo closely resembled.

Unfortunately, it’s not as safe as it once was for visitors to visit the zoo. The zoo is located in a quiet side of the city, and because of the huge space that the zoo and the surrounding the National Botanical Garden occupies, the area is very, very calm. It sounds great when you think of that from an environmental perspective. But when you add in the security factor, you realize that it’s not as safe as a zoo should be.

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One of the most common complaints that the zoo visitors have is the fact that the hawkers inside the area will force you to pay for food. If you are sitting someplace inside — on a bench of something — you’re most likely targeted by the hawkers or some so-called restaurants that sell outrageously overpriced food. You don’t have to order anything. They’ll open the can for you and make you pay a lot for it. My own parents had this experience once.

When I was old enough to understand the dangers involved in visiting the zoo, I realized why they were always hesitant of taking me to the zoo.

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It’s almost sad that a zoo — a place that’s supposed to be educational (for kids, at least) and recreational — is a dangerous place not because of the animals in it but because of the members of our own species. Guess we are not the best kind after all.

I took those photos quite a long time ago during one of my ‘lonely trips’ to the zoo. I just found them at the bottom of my uploaded media library and wanted to revisit those experiences. Also, this post is part of NaBloPoMo, a daily-posting activity throughout the month of November. 

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