Another guest post by my lovely and talented wife, K. Her website for her spiritual direction practice can be found at Sleep on the Hearth. She also blogs on spiritual matters.
During the summer, members of the Oakland Zoo can enter the park at 9:30, half an hour before the kids and strollers and cell-phone talkers storm the place. This morning I took advantage of the early-entry perq of zoo membership and headed straight for the bat cage, which is similar to the Bat Cave, but...different. I didn't take any photos of the bats, because my view was blocked by the mesh of their enclosure, but I will simply say: wow. One of them ate a slice of watermelon while I watched, then stuffed the rind into his mouth, making a giant pooch in his cheek that he shifted from right to left as he munched. To get an idea of how cool these animals are, try a Google image search for island flying foxes.
The two tigers at the Oakland Zoo "worked" in a circus until 1999. They were housed in 3' x 6' containers when they were not performing or training. Given the alternatives for some of these animals, I'll support the zoo any day.