It’s actually scaring me, how long it’s taking to write up all these posts about Japan. And I know, it’s taking absolutely ages to finish writing about my simple little trip, but it’s my incessant need to share ALL THESE CUTESORABLE* PHOTOS WITH YOU ALL! Yes, this set of photos will get you actively going “Awww” at the screen – and this day marked my very first meeting with GASP prairie dogs! Holy shiznits, Batman, prairie dogs? Why yes indeed, Robin, frakking prairies dogs filled with juicy little prairie dog awesomness. And I don’t mean that in a “I’m going to eat the fuzzilicious little guys” but it a “Dear God, prairie dogs are awesome. I know you exist because you created prairie dogs.” sort of way.
FUZZY BUTTS! AWW!
So one dreary morning, after being led astray by our dear parents (again) and ended up one station away from Disneyland (of which we didn’t go to. booo!) my sister and I decided to make a break from our thoroughly confused parental figures and take a stroll back towards the laneways of Ueno – which was when we came across Ueno Zoo (恩賜上野動物園, Onshi Ueno Dōbutsuen).
I love zoos, in a childish, bumbling, ZOMG EFFALUMPS! sort of way and so, here’s me, a 23 year-old scientist gawking and pointing at some of the most interesting array of random fuzzies (or un-fuzzies, as the case may be), pointing and gesticulating like an epileptic who forgot to take their sodium valporate. Luckily, we were in Japan, so I wasn’t alone in the mad hand-signals. Also, I think my sister had taken a massive chill-pill that day and probably had eaten a little too much for breakfast, so she was wafting along after me, completely oblivious to my manic lunacy and willing partaker in my trigger-happy shutter-bug tendencies.
GORILLA: Munching on a stick. I do really love this shot so much.
I didn’t know this until I returned from Japan, but Ueno Zoo actually has a bit of a horrible past – opened in 1882, the zoo survived through WWII but not without seeing some of the ugly bitterness and lack of humanity that war always brings with it. Shortly after March 1945 bombings of Tokyo, the Japanese placed U.S. Army Air Force pilot Ray “Hap” Halloran on display naked in a Ueno Zoo tiger cage so civilians could walk in front of the cage and view the B-29 prisoner. The Japanese Army during this time, also ordered that all “wild and dangerous animals” at the zoo be killed, claiming that bombs could hit the zoo and escaping wild animals would wreak havoc in the streets of Tokyo. Requests by the staff at the zoo for a reprieve, or to evacuate the animals elsewhere, were refused. Ueno Zoo’s three elephants at the time, John, Tonky, and Wanly (also known as Wang Lee) did not eat the poisoned food, and thus starved to death. The fate of Ueno’s animals, particularly the elephants, has often been used in Japan as an example of the evils of war.
AWESOME: I can mimic how this little guy locked while he was eating this sardine. It isn’t pretty, but it sure is comical. If you need a little entertainment in your life, ask me sometime, you won’t be disappointed.
But back to the present day, and away from the gloom of war, the day was shocking hot, and after paying our meager 600 yen entry fee, we then spent most of our cash trying to keep ourselves alive in the blistering heat by drinking copious amounts of Coke and eating fantabulous 200 yen ice blocks until out stomachs couldn’t take too much more in the fluids department. One things for sure, we must of stunk something horrible at the end of the day.
THE ZOO: Was filled to brimming with folk who were just there for the atmosphere. This guy was going through a first-copy of a graphic novel – he would occasionally take a pen to it and tweak it a little. Of course I took a shot with my Stalker Lens TM, just for kicks.
*CUTESORABLE: Cute + Adorable. It’s a word. Look it up.