We spent last weekend in Merida for our circuit assembly. Before the visit I was checking around what we might see or do. The family decided that we would like to visit the zoo in Merida. Now, I have to say that the idea of these amazing animals confined to small cages instead of their natural environment bothers me. But, it is wonderful to be so close to them that you can smell them and hear them breathing.
The zoo is peaceful with many trees and nice easy paths to lead you along.
I found an interesting story about one of the many very old trees that line the entrance to the zoo.
The first thing we noticed on our right was the tree called Arbol del Centenario. It seemed like a pretty unassuming tree, actually, for such a fancy sign and special place. We did our research afterwards and found out that the tree had indeed been planted in 1910, and had grown for many years. During Hurricane Gilberto, the tree had been uprooted and torn completely out of the ground. Entangled in its roots, the clean-up crew had found a metal box
that contained the original hand-written act that established the park and described the inauguration ceremony. It also contained the newspapers of that day and some gold and silver coins. In those days (at the turn of the 20th Century) it was traditional when building an important structure to put together this sort of “time capsule”, including the acta constitutiva of the building, coins and newspapers. It was also traditional to hide the box in an undisclosed location. The incredible coincidence of the hurricane ripping up the tree and unearthing the treasure was recognized and appreciated, but out of respect for tradition, the box was immediately reburied. A team of Mexican and foreign biologists worked together to replant and revive the tree and because of their efforts, the arbol del centenario is still alive and is one of the oldest trees in the park.
We grabbed some lunch before heading in. There are many things we see that make us laugh a bit that are reflective of our life in the US. Things that seem obviously unsafe (like the lack of restraint where the aggressive hippos are) or not politically correct or just out of the normal mold that life in the States has trained us to expect.
We kept seeing iguanas in many of the exhibits. They had an even closer view than we did. 😉
I hope you enjoy our pictures.