1977, Paris, a few weeks between the Army (in France) and Grad school (in the US). I load my faithful 35mm Asahi Pentax with Black & White film. Ilford of course. Destination: the “Zoo de Vincennes”, southeast of Paris. Above: a black-face gibbon ready to fool around. Most gibbon species come from Southeast Asia and are endangered. Some critically.
African buffalo, one of the most dangerous animals in the wild. Lives in large herds. There are about 400,000 left, mostly in East and South Africa. Status: near-threatened. Some hunters pay up to 10,000 bucks to shoot one. (Jesus!)
Fooling around I tell you. The zoo at Vincennes was designed in the 30’s. Lots of concrete structures, but also lots of space and trees. A nice stroll. It houses – and protects – 2,000 to 3,500 animals.
Polar bear, another very dangerous creature. Don’t be fooled by its cute looks. 20 to 30,000 polar bears still live in the Arctic. Vulnerable due to the reduction of the polar ice cap.
African lioness. In the 50’s, an estimated 400,000 lions lived in sub-Saharan Africa. estimates in the early 2,000’s were between 16 and 47,000… Need I say more? Claws, teeth and bones are sold for aledged health benefits…
“You still looking at me?”
Forgot the name of that gazelle. Or is it an antelope? Some break one horn in fights over territory and females…
“Jumpin’ Jack flash”… (Jagger/Richards)
Asian elephant. See the unusual long tusks? Their African cousins proved impossible to tame, but the Asian elephants have been domesticated for centuries in Asia providing efficient labour for hard jobs. Bulldozers put them out of work. The wild population is estimated at around 50,000. Status: endangered.
“I think I’ll do another 200 laps.”
“Jump in. The water’s great.”
“Just callin’ my African buddies.”
“This here is my best angle.” 🐘
Kwaheri sassa. (See y’all soon)