I had a day at London Zoo. I was there for the John Stott Memorial Lecture, this inaugural year sponsored by A Rocha and given by Chris Wright from Langham Partnership and David Nussbaum from WWF. The lectures were very good indeed, but the animals were better.
There were several parts of the zoo where you can walk through the enclosure with the animals. My favourite was the butterfly house. It was awe-inspiring to walk amongst these beautiful, fragile creatures.
It was simply fun to watch the animals – to see them in real life – lions, tigers, gorillas, a two-toed sloth, birds, fish, komodo dragons, giraffes, penguins, otters, bats, naked mole rats, bush babies and much much more!
A lot of the zoo had an explicit conservation theme. But it put me in mind of Joni Mitchell’s song, Big Yellow Taxi: “They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum, and they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see them.” Substitute trees for animals, and up the price rather a lot, and you have a zoo. It’s so sad to think that if we don’t change our ways, that might be all we have left of some of these beautiful animals: specimens in an animal museum. To quote St Joni again: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.”
I hope that if other people get as much enjoyment from the zoo as I did, they will think hard about this wonderful world we share with the rest of nature, and we’ll do better at looking after it.
WWF’s vision is “A world with a future, where people and nature thrive.” Sounds like it could be straight out of the bible.
I made a film of my day – click here to watch it.