Wild: akin to will; an animal that is wild is wandering at its will. Living in a state of nature.
Nature: born, produced, to produce. The universe; the system of things of which we ourselves are a part; the inherent qualities of anything; the essential qualities which constitute what it is.
An animal cannot be other than what it is, even in the unnatural confines of a zoo.
So I ask where is wild, not as a place but as an essential quality still present in the eyes and posture of those animals that have not become man’s pets but remain who they are in spite of conditions we have created for them.
Asian tigers, silverback gorillas, dwarf crocodile, pygmy hippopotamus, all trying to remember who they are while they forget the smell of danger and survive safety.
How can I acknowledge the sacrifice of their being made available for my observation?
I asked this question on the journey, riding the subway trains and buses, to visit the zoo one day last week. I felt desperate to be in close proximity to those qualities that only wild animals possess. My desire overruled the pain of seeing them in a zoo. And, regardless of my acceptance or rejection of ‘zoo’ these animals are living on the periphery of our suburban wasteland, should they simply be forgotten?
How do we remember who we are? How do we remember our humanity?