PhotoPhoto Essay
Spring at the ZooThe spring news from the zoo
Doh Sang-youp Reporter  |
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승인 2005.05.01  00:00:00
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리


SPRING IS a fascinating and animated season; nature recovers its freshness, flowers blossom. The soft and fresh breeze blows and the new leaves sprout. However, we hardly feel this marvelous season in the city because it hates to change. So, people usually search for nature to feel spring and the zoo is a representative place that meets this wish. This month, I visited some zoos and felt the atmosphere of spring.
My heart leaped with expectation to meet animals soon. Trees beside the roads to the zoo budded new sprouts and some grass was growing from the ground. Spring is in all its glory. The soft breeze and warm sunshine made me feel real happiness.
Each zoo prepares for spring with general cleaning and new decorations. A veterinarian Lee Kyo-young, who works in a zoo, said many flowers are planted everywhere in this season and animals' cages are disinfected, cleaned, and newly painted. Baby animals that were born last winter meet the sunshine for the first time and many animals do their exercises outside the cages.
Every zoo also plans various events that enable visitors to feel the spring much more closely, such as the tulips' festival and cherry blossom viewing festival. The zoo that I visited came up with a program, "Chick and ducklings' spring airing" to meet a new season. Chicks and ducklings at the event were born this March and live in a small cage bedecked with the symbol of spring, forsythia. After being fed, some of them dozed off which was really cute. Children who meet small and lovely lives looked at them curiously and tried to touch them. Seeing nestlings that still have pinfeathers reminded me of the value of life.
Beckoning springtime, a circus of sea lions and dolphins was also newly formed. This show "The Messenger of New Spring" was filled with those animals' performances prepared during all of last winter. They played instruments, basketball, and so on according to the story about animal's spring picnic. A trainer who directed this show told me that the sea lions and dolphins performed better these days than usual because they also felt the change of season and are excited about that.
Almost all people struggle with sleep, especially in the spring. According to a trainer, some kinds of animals, especially the anthropoid ape are drowsy in this season as the weather gets warm and gentle breeze blows. After feedings, they sometimes take a nap under the warm sunshine. I thought that these kinds of animals (for example, chimpanzees and monkeys) are really similar to people.


    Tropical animals like giraffes, lions, and elephants welcome spring with open arms, because the winter is a terrible season for them. Most of them enjoyed having a sunbath outside. On the other side, polar bears and Siberian tigers don't like the coming of spring. The polar bears swim in the pool and the tigers take a rest in the shadows. As these animals come from northern regions, they prefer cold weather to hot weather. At first, the animals looked pitiful because they seemed to be homesick due to circumstances that are not very suitable to live for them. Seeing trainers' efforts to make the zoo's environment like their home countries, however, I could feel the relief. A trainer said that they often ventilate the air in the cages (fresh air is needed for the animals) and check their health regularly, especially this season.
For animals, spring is the season of life regardless of their hometown. The trainer said most of them breed their young instinctively in this season, because the weather is wonderful and there is a lot of food in spring. How mysterious animals' instincts are! Though mother animals breed for the first time, they already know that they have to breed babies in the spring instinctively. It must be from the rule of surviving.

   I was able to sense the fullness of spring's vitality from not only animals but also people who visited the zoo. Though it was early in the morning, the zoo entrance was already crowded with many people; especially a lot of children came here with their family. Just like the spring days of a year are March, April, and May, the spring days of human life is childhood. Listening to children's bright and happy laughter made me want to be a child again. One of the visitors, Kim Sung-il (35), who came here with her children, said that she could feel the freshness of this season, and she added that the zoo is also an educational place that teaches children the value of new lives. To children, today's outing will be an unforgettable memory.
One thing that people do without forgetting is taking memorable photographs. Any place where flowers bloom is occupied with people who take pictures. Taking photographs has some attractions for people. It can make people remember and recall happy memories of this time. Pictures that people took today will be a good remembrance for them, and the fragrance of this spring will be with these pictures forever.
The zoo was filled with vigor. I hope that every animal in the zoo will always be healthy and that our lives are also filled with vitality as in this spring. Returning from the zoo, I pledged a new start to this year for myself. 

   If you have a chance to stroll with someone comfortably this spring, how about going to the zoo where animals await you? As you see them carefully, you can feel something new that you have never felt in daily life. Let's jump into spring fever!

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