Caged and Confused

As I walked through Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo for the first time since moving here almost 8 years ago, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the animals. Yes, it’s a nice zoo. Yes, it was absolutely packed with literal bus loads of gleeful children who were delighting in seeing the animals on display.

Nikon D300, ISO 640, 1/80 sec at f/5.6, 200 mm
Brown Crusted Capuchin

Unfortunately, I didn’t see a single animal that seemed to share the happiness of the children. The looks in their eyes told an entirely different story, the story of those with a longing for freedom. What was the elephant really thinking as he stood by the gate of his pen, thrust his trunk over the wall of his confinement and sniffed the air on the other side? Why did the look on the face of the Brown Crusted Capuchin monkey appear as one deep in depression? Like the animals at the shelter where I volunteer, I could not help but think that these, too, were longing to go home.

Nikon D300, ISO 640, 1/20 sec at f/5.6, 200 mm
Lion Tamarin


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