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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Haresign

Father's Day Featuring the Bronx Zoo

Growing up one of the children's books we had in our home was one that my father had read as a kid, it was in fact the same copy. The Golden Book of Zoo Animals (William Bridges ~ Scott Johnston, Golden Press, 1962) The book is filled with stories of animals at the Bronx Zoo, a place his Nana would take him and his siblings. My nana would later read us the stories from the book before bedtime.

One notable story that I always found particularly entertaining was that of a baby alligator that had been found in a gutter somewhere in Manhattan. A man found the alligator and kept him as a pet in his one bedroom apartment where he would feed it a hamburger every day (this was in the 50's which was prime hamburger era in NYC).

Eventually he was too old to be able to care for it so he brought it to the zoo. I can't imagine how, considering it was quite large by this time. He told the Bronx Zookeepers to feed it hamburger which it did, and when he returned the alligator remembered him. Or he got old and never came back, honestly, I forget how the story goes. Their were other engaging stories as well. Ones about bats, elephants, etc and the imagery is engaging for all ages. The cover of the book tells the story of a duck that made a home on lion island. Tales are told of unlikely friendships and cute companions.

For Fathers Day in 2011 we took a family trip to the Bronx Zoo for the first (and only time) in my life. It was a special occasion and somewhat of a family tradition being carried out. I was in my second year of photography classes and enjoyed the opportunity to practice. Looking back 12 years later I think some of these photos still hold up pretty well so I thought I would share them to thank my Dad for the opportunity and for the nice photos he took of us.

I remember taking this series of the gorilla and was really enjoying the reflection in the glass, the sort of haziness to the whole scene, the split worlds.

Then, I thought about the gorilla feeling seen and watched by us all.

Until I started to wonder, if maybe we were the attraction after all, and they were watching us.

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