Lift us up where we belong…

Steller Sea Eagle
I was excited!

I had heard much about the new Journey to Churchill exhibit at the Winnipeg Assiniboine Park Zoo and finally, on this bright breezy near perfect fall day, we were about to check it out.


The Winnipeg Zoo has come a long way in how it presents and represents its inhabitants… education is now an obvious component of all the new exhibits. The new enclosures are much more spacious, allowing for the animals within to roam and wander more freely about. It truly is beautifully done and obviously with a lot of thought for the animals it homes.

zoo exhibits

Still… I always enter with mixed emotions and my heart aches for the beautiful and majestic creatures confined within its boundaries. A part of me fully gets the necessity of zoos… and by that I mean the new and improved variety… never, ever the small caged horrors that sadly are still too prevalent in too many places.

I guess I could best describe my visits to the zoo as bitter sweet.

Sweet that my eyes get to see, up close and personal, the many wondrous creatures that I otherwise would never see, but oh so sad that many are no longer in a world that allows them free rein in a natural habitat.

snow leopard

Steller Sea EagleOn this particular visit I think the exhibit that affected me the most was that of the two Steller’s Sea Eagles. Their magnificent presence left me in awe and feeling small.

The fact that I was attempting to capture their beauty through a chain link fence had my heart ache.

The female is Stella. She was born in 2003 and came from the Tallinn Zoo in Estonia. The male, Stanley, born in 2005 came from the Lieberec Zoo in the Czech Republic.

Their status in the wild is considered to be “vulnerable”. The wild population is declining due to habitat loss, water pollution, over-fishing and other factors.

Sometimes I bemoan my human condition… so very disheartened by what we have done to those we share this planet with.

Polar Bear

In our world of today it appears that zoos are a necessity if these wonders, and too many more like them, have any hope of survival. A large part of who I am hopes that we as humans, as a collective spirit, are somehow able to shift our priorities and come to acknowledge our part in this downward spiral.

Hopefully, and soon, the day will come when we recognize that our competitive quest for material personal wealth may actually be our downfall.

Life, the earth, the air that we breathe… these need to be our priorities.

snowy owl

I do feel that a shift is happening, I only hope it comes soon enough.

Eagles are meant to soar.

“The world is as delicate and as complicated as a spider’s web… and like a spider’s web, if you touch one thread, you send shudders running through all the other threads that make up the web. But we’re not just touching the web, we’re tearing great holes in it.” ~ Gerald Durrell