Call me a hypocrite, and I’ll agree with you. I generally avoid zoos on principle but, as an adult, have bent my own rules to visit two: first was the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC, with the visit motivated by the chance to catch a glimpse of giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian.
Yesterday, I added Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo to the list, fascinated by the opportunity to see polar bears from an underwater viewing tunnel. The property’s Journey to Churchill exhibit opened in July 2014 and, if not for the need to catch a plane back to Vancouver, I could have spent hours in the tunnel.
The deep thud of a bear’s massive paw on glass just inches above one’s head, along with the visions of a pair at play, reinforced a desire to travel north to see polar bears in their own environment, and that environment itself.