Zoo Portraits: Tokyo, Japan


I, the photographer, was trailing behind the rest of the family as they headed off to find the flamingos. We passed by the snow monkeys’ enclosure. They were fascinating. I dallied for a quick dozen or so photos, and hurried along to catch up. Seeing what I’d seen would just have to wait until later, when my hastily shot slices of frozen time could be thawed and prepared and digested at better leisure.



A monkey haiku from the Tokyo zoo.

Japanese macaque,

or Macaca fustata.

The nihonzaru.

Animals in cages and enclosures can make me sad.


But here were these amazing creatures…


No primate, other than Homo sapiens, lives farther north than these do.


They’re social beings.

They are matrilineal.

They groom each other.



I do love going to the zoo.

And I don’t love going to the zoo.


I can’t imagine what life would be like, in an enclosure, with only a few of my kind for company. Nor can I imagine what life in a cage would be like, save for the few hours I once spent in jail as a young man, for having been unable to produce my driver’s license upon request to a police officer.


What would you do.


If you were kept in a zoo?

One response to “Zoo Portraits: Tokyo, Japan

  1. Beautiful pictures. It is such a shame that we need to lock these animals in cages to keep them safe from other humans doing worse things to them. 🙁

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