When I heard about the closing of the Children’s Zoo at the Brookfield Zoo, my mind poured out remembrances of the place, which was a must-stop whenever there was a trip to the Brookfield Zoo.
I suppose the reasoning for the closing had some merit, but for me and many others it is sad. Not that the newer exhibits are not nice, but there was the up-close-and-personal part of the little zoo-within-the-zoo that made it memorable.
Thinking back to when I was a child, I had my favorite animals, but would back off whenever a snake would be brought out for viewing. Many area people were employed by the zoo, particularly in the summer.
I can remember my brother taking me to the Children’s Zoo, a treat for me, but it was really just his excuse to see a girl who was working there for the summer. Don’t know if he got a date with her or not, but I was on my best behavior and told not to say the wrong thing.
A trip to the Children’s Zoo was a frequent outing when my children were small — go to the zoo in the morning, get some lunch then home for a nap. They seemed to like the llamas a lot and called them “push-me-pull-you” after the animals in the movie Dr. Dolittle. They also loved the baby goats, those cute kids.
What child didn’t learn something on a visit to the Children’s Zoo and what questions weren’t answered as they got a chance to pet or feed one of the animals? I often thought the animals were glad when the end of the day came, so they could finally have some peace and quiet and were free from prying little hands. Of course, the snacks they received were always welcome.
It’s good to know the animals have gone on to what I hope are greener pastures and I hope they will have good lives and be enjoyed by other children. At least that is what I have told myself, so I will feel better about the closing.
So another change has taken place with the idea of something bigger and better will take its place. That remains to be seen, but the memories of visits to the little zoo at Brookfield Zoo will remain the same.