A Visit to a Zoo - 490

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A Visit to a Zoo.

Last month I paid a visit to the Zoo at Mysore. I saw there many magnificent animals from various parts-of the world, and they were being most carefully looked after.

The lions and tigers are kept in large open enclosures, with trees for shade and pools of water. They have large cages built of rock to look like their caves in the jungle. The polar bears have an icy pool to lie in, and large blocks of ice are put into a cave for them to sit on. Inside the cave is dark, as they are not accustomed to the brilliant Indian sun. The brown Canadian bears are huge shaggy beasts, quite different from the little black Indian bears.

A large open space of tufts of grass burnt brown, and sandy patches, is enclosed by a railing for the kangaroos from Australia. These beasts are so strange. The female carries her young in a bag in her stomach. If you take them peanuts they will sit on their tails in a long row, just behind the railing, the great males grunting at you, and the babies peeping out of their mothers’ pouches. There are monkeys from all over the world, from the mighty gorilla that weighs as much as three men to the tiny marmoset of a few ounces. These monkeys are all clever at tricks, but some dislike being laughed at. A little boy who laughed at a grey-bearded old fellow got splashed with water.

The hippopotami are funny creatures too. You just see a huge mass of pink flesh under the water; but the moment you hold out a bunch of greens, out rushes the family,—father, mother, and baby hippo,—all grunting and squealing.

This zoo was one of the most interesting sights I have seen in India.

D. M. Speight.

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