Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Zoo of Depressed Animals

Did you ever wonder what happens when circus animals can't cut it? When they just can't line up for the circus parade?

For a couple of decades, they came to New Jersey, and lived in Scotch Plains at the Terry Lou Zoo, the most depressing zoo in the world.

Sometime in the late 80's, I went with the Spawn to enjoy the entire zoo experience. We started out with a pony ride. It was a typical little path around a pond filled with greenish water. Then it was off to see the animals.

We saw some foxes and other small creatures pacing nervously, some in circles, others back and forth.

We really wanted to go to the monkey house, always a crowd pleaser. But we couldn't enter because of the intense ammonia smell.

Maybe the giraffes would be better. Tall, friendly, and again, in a cage barely large enough to contain them. Kids would reach up to pet them or offer up a snack.

The Spawn wanted to but, I saw that one of the giraffes didn't look well. We took a couple steps back, and just in time...
He sneezed blood over all the kids "lucky" enough to be in range.

We stayed a bit more, but it was more of the same; sick and depressed animals pacing endlessly in tiny cages.

Eventually, the zoo closed, and today, it stands abandoned, overgrown and unknown to most passersby.



Sandee said...

Well, I'm hoping they treat us old folks better than that when we can't line up in the circus parade anymore. Just saying. Bwahahahahahaha.

Have a terrific day Crotchety. :)

Janna said...

I feel bad for the giraffe.

LL said...

Darn shame they closed it down... now where are the misfit animals going to sneeze on people?

Donnie said...

Jeez! What did you expect for that price? Healthy animals? Our old zoo was just like that. Stunk, dirty and sad looking animals. It has been completely overhauled and now accredited. It's a small, but very nice, clean zoo and the animals don't shit all over each other anymore. Go figure.

HR Diva said...

I remember driving by the empty zoo a couple of years ago, thankfully I dont think I went there as a kid.

Nice sneeze...ICK


BONNIE K said...

That is very sad. I wonder how damaged the animals get after the circus life.

ReformingGeek said...

I sure don't want to be reincarnated as a circus animal. ;-)

Humor said...

Just drop ec and care to exchange link?


Adullamite said...

Very sad that.

What is not sad is your mind being alive once again, that's better than a renovated zoo - well usually anyway!

Unknown said...

Well, you have certainly depressed me. Mission accomplished, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

That was a very sad story -

shyne said...

That reminds me of the Zoo on Staten Island, near where I lived.
Even as a kid, I saw and felt great sadness in the eyes of the animals.


Moonrayvenne said...

Wow! That's a terrible way to treat animals. OK, now back to the happy nurse stories. That really got me down!

brokenteepee said...

I would like to think they wouldn't allow that today.

Poor animals.

Unknown said...

that is just sad

Anonymous said...

I wonder what happened to children that got sneezed on.

Oh, I know they are now residing happily at the mental institution: Happy Giraffe Acres.

No tomato juice is allowed on campus.


Unknown said...

Geez-- good thing it wasn't an elephant with that sinus infection!

CastoCreations said...

That makes me very sad. :(

savvy said...

I will now forever be stuck with the image of some pitiful giraffe sneezing blood all over a bunch of screaming rug rats. THANKS, that is 4 star gold writing material! (and also sad)

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Sed said...

I grew up in Clark, and I can remember going to the Terry-Lou Zoo in the late 1970s as a wee lad.

It was just as depressing/horrifying then, too.

Laura Brown said...

I've seen photos on Flickr of an abandoned zoo. Maybe it is the same place. Pretty sad. Some of the animals in zoos like this are sick and emotionally disturbed from being in a circus or owned by someone as babies and then dumped. Pretty awful. Makes you not want to go to the zoo at all.

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Anonymous said...

Well, I know the poor old Terry Lou Zoo had a few issues, but I LOVED going there as a kid, it always seemed to be like the animals were well cared-for overall. I thought it was a great place, and I have fond memories of watching the river otter especially. The Terrys were close relatives of one of my father's friends and all the stories that I heard growing up was how they genuinely cared for the animals in the zoo. It all fell apart when it changed management.
-Doug Keil

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C Fischer said...

I too went there in the 70's as a "wee lad" and have nothing but fond memories and pictures to prove it. But when you're just a kid everything seems new and magical as there's nothing else to compare a new memory against. But that monkey house smell was life changing to be sure.


Terry Lou was a disgrace so the county closed itIf you're ever in Cape May County ceck out their zoo
facility. Its free to the family donations are accepted.

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