Putting the “I guess…” in “Guestimation.”

8 09 2009

Based on these two descriptions, which one would you think is the better zoo?

Zoo #1: The Cohanzick Zoo was the first zoo in New Jersey, established in Bridgeton City Park in 1934. The zoo has more than 200 birds and mammals from around the world and emphasizes the fauna of Asia and South America, including monkeys, bears, big cats, crocodiles, and snakes. A favorite for visitors is the White Tiger exhibit. Admission is free.

or

Zoo #2: The Cape May County Zoo, a wooded park area off Exit 11 of the Garden State Parkway on Route 9, is home to nearly 200 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Special exhibits include the World of Birds, Reptile and Amphibian House and an African Savanna. The large park area includes pavilions. a spacious playground area and biking trails.

On the one hand, the first zoo description only says “200 birds/mammals” as opposed to species, meaning they are probably counting individual animals here. But the second zoo description seems to be mostly about the park surrounding the zoo instead of the zoo itself. So, if you are like me, you would assume that the first zoo in New Jersey was definitely the better pick.

You would be WRONG.

What the brochure fails to mention is that of those 200 birds/mammals, they must be counting the hundred plus Canadian geese that have taken up residency in their alleged zoo. Once again, proof that the zoo businessmen of South Jersey need to put on their logic caps and keep the regular animals out of the actual animals’ exhibits. The brochure also fails to mention the extremely sad FAQ signs that greet you at the entrance to the zoo, posted on the glass of an empty cage.

FAQ 1: Where are all of your animals?

Answer: Animals get old & die. This year has been particularly rough, as we have lost 2 ocelots, several monkeys, and both of our reindeer.

FAQ 2: Can’t you get replacement animals?

Answer: It is harder to get animals that are suited for our enclosures than you think. It is too hard to transport animals in the summer because it is so hot they often die.

FAQ 3: Why don’t you build some more exhibits?

Answer: If you have $100,000 that you no longer need, we would be happy to build new exhibits.

All of these signs could have been condensed into a single sign:

“Dear Zoo-Goers:

FUCK YOU.

– Mgmt.”

Although I applaud their honesty, it really drew attention to the sad state of affairs at New Jersey’s first zoo. They need a little old man at the entrance to guilt people into making donations, like the Cape May County Zoo did. That is where the real money is.

Still, there were about 30 animals there (not counting dumb geese, ducks, and even more free-range peafowl) that were relatively cool. They had a white tiger. The signs claimed there were two, but I only saw one and given the tone of the other signs, I am more inclined to trust my eyes than theirs. They had a funny looking little bear. They had a mountain lion/big cat of some sort. Sadly, these animals were all super bored and took to pacing around, trying to coax the dumb geese and ducks to get close enough to eat.

A mom and little girl were feeding bread to all of the geese, ducks, and swans as we walked around. Thus, we had a herd of fowl following us around. And by following, I mean coming within inches of us. If I thought that birds had noses, I swear they would have been all up in our biz, sniffing us up and down like a dog when you smell like another dog. It was insane. And made me wish I had bread of my own so I could have captured one and taken it home.

The bird I most wanted to capture was this weird hybrid chicken/duck. We took to calling them chucks. It had all the coloring of a regular farm chicken, but webbed feet and weird skin stuff on their beaks like ducks. They were ridiculous and loved people and seriously wagged their tails at you. So, despite the extremely misleading advertising, I believe this trip was worthwhile because of my introduction to chucks.

Pictures will be forthcoming, I hope.

Additionally, we ate dinner at a bar with no name, no windows, no easily recognizable front door, that had been recommended to my dad by one of his fraternity brothers. Upon entering, this conversation occurred:

Dad: There’s blood on your stairs.

“Cosmo” the Bartender: Those stairs? No, that’s paint.

Dad: No, those stairs.

Cosmo: Oh, those stairs? Yeah, that’s blood.

Needless to say, dinner was delish.

——

What is an alternate name for the Cohanzick Zoo?

ANSWER: ZOOP

Alternate answers: “False advertising”, Oh Man’s Sick Zoo, Sadness.

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3 responses

10 09 2009
tomphayden

I live across from a free zoo. I have seen LLAMAS, ELK, KANGAROOS (who, by the way, don’t care what time of night it is; they are always willing to hang out), and other strange german animals.

I have also petted most of them, since by “free zoo”, the germans mean, “we don’t really care what you do with these animals”.

11 09 2009
quitepossumbly

once again, i am so jealz of your german lifestyle.

are we living weirdly parallel lives right now? we might have been looking at the same animal at the same time in TWO DIFFERENT CONTINENTS.

25 07 2010
Finally, the internet fame I’ve always dreamed of « it's possible. and hangs upside down.

[…] already wrote about the zootravaganza when it happened last summer in real time. Just know that on my trip back to the shore this summer, […]

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