This week I had the opportunity to visit Dublin Zoo in Phoenix Park through my part-time job with study abroad provider CIEE. I typically have mixed feelings about zoos. I appreciate their work and conservation efforts of endangered species. Without the conservation and rescue efforts of these zoos, people would be less aware of conservation issues. I also think zoos provide people with the opportunity to genuinely appreciate the wildlife kingdom which may contribute to greater appreciation for the environment and conservation efforts.
While I appreciate the efforts that zoos make, I remain conflicted because I find myself wondering about the health and well-being of the animals. Do they truly have enough space in that habitat? Do they appreciate being gawked at by the species of animal that puts their original environments at risk? Animals may not have that higher level ability of thinking, but they certainly can be affected by less than ideal zoo conditions.
Overall, I found Dublin Zoo to be great in its obvious conservation efforts and education aims, as well as the size of the zoo overall. I also appreciated the opportunity to play around with my camera and get some practice in! It was a rainy-ish day and we went in the afternoon, so the animals were not all that active, but it still was a great time. My favorite exhibit was definitely the Asiatic Lions! They were stunning to see in person and simply gorgeous. Apparently there are only 411 of them in the wild and they are an endangered species.
IF you want to read more about the conservation efforts of Dublin Zoo, follow this link: https://www.dublinzoo.ie/5/Conservation.aspx
Dublin Zoo is located in Phoenix Park, Dublin which is also beautiful on its own. There's a big obelisk to look at and plenty of room for laying out on a rare sunny day or for walking the dogs. I could see myself going to the tea room on a nice day and just walking around and relaxing with a good book.