Miami's Jungle Island

These pictures were taken a few months ago and for some reason I never took the time to post them. I probably needed to think about these kinds of places a little more first. Since then, the story about the kid falling into the gorilla area hit the Internet and so many things were written about it. I didn't know what to think about it myself and I'm not gonna try to now. I just want to look back at the good time we had, but I think I'm coming to the point of never taking Mason to the zoo anymore!

We had a membership at the Los Angeles Zoo that just expired and they keep sending me mail to re-join. The last few times we went I kept feeling so sad about these beautiful animals that were kept in such small space, and for some of them, totally on their own with no one to play with.

It's hard to come to that point because kids love it. They don't know better. But I want Mason to know better than that. I want him to know that these animals aren't supposed to be there and that they aren't happy there. I've never been someone extreme and against things and I don't want my son to be upset at me one day because his friends go to there and he doesn't, but I hope he'll understand why we choose not to go.

This time we were at Jungle Island in Miami. We went there with our friends who have twins, six months older than Mason. It was the perfect day and a nice thing to do for them. The place was beautiful, not packed at all which made it very enjoyable. Everyone had a lot of fun.

It was by accident but they were all wearing the same shoes in different colors!

I have no idea how I'll be able to show all these kinds of animals to Mason again, which kind of breaks my heart. But I'm sure I'll find a way. I would love to hear from any family that decided not to go to these places anymore and how they do it with their kids.

I grew up surrounded by all kinds of animals and I actually had a goat and a donkey that were inseparable. We had a huge lot of land for them to run around and they were so happy. Then I see how they keep all these goats tucked in a small area and they give everyone either food or a pink drink in a baby bottle to feed them. Everyone had one and the goats were totally fed up and not interested. I felt so bad for them. Goats are really so much fun and I know it because I grew up with one.

Mason kept trying to share his snack (which wasn't allowed) and kiss them. It was so cute! I can't wait to go back to France and take him to the countryside to see some. Maybe I could find some closer to us but I want him to see where I grew up and how it is there.

I think the most disturbing for me was the kangaroos. It was my first time actually seeing them in person. Don't get me wrong I kind of loved it! It's not an animal that lives in the US so being able to see some here was amazing. But they were all lying on the ground not moving at all. Mason kept touching them, kissing them, laying on them, and even grabbed one paw to make it follow him. It was the cutest, but I kept questioning if it was normal for them to be resting like that. Are they used to it or do they drug them? I questioned the guard and she told me it was normal. She said they sleep most of the day and are very active at night. Well I don't know much about kangaroos so maybe she was right. But I will forever question if they were drugged to be human attraction.

One day maybe we'll go to Australia and see some in the wild. I would absolutely love it! Until then I'll keep the memory of Mason kissing the Kangaroo, but I for sure won't go again.

I could apply the same perspective on eating meat, which we do, and many other things related to animals. It's so hard having to take drastic choices like that. Right and wrong are different to everyone and I'm just trying to do what works best with my belief. I'm not judging anyone and hope no one would judge us. I just want to do what's right for all these beautiful creatures...