Auckland Zoo, the good the bad & the virtue signalling

These holidays I visited Auckland Zoo. I hadn’t visited for at least 5 years so there were lots of changes. The hippopotamuses, for example, were gone after having died from old age. The wonderful meerkats and the otters had attractive new enclosures, and the sea lion tank now housed a solitary seal.

Many of the changes I saw at the Zoo were wonderful. Enclosures had been updated and redesigned, and more changes were in progress. The landscaping and enclosure design was artistic and creative. Visually it was a huge improvement.

Photo Whaleoil

,One enclosure had been improved with shade cloth but the seal tank had its shade cloth removed, which caused reflections on the glass. This made it hard to see into the tank as well as making watching unbearably hot, as it was a cracker of a summer’s day when I visited.

Now the heat made us all very thirsty so we tried at every single food outlet at the Zoo to purchase some chilled bottled water. We didn’t care if it was in glass or plastic; we just wanted a cold bloody drink.?Sadly, the virtue signalling fairies at Auckland Council had waved their Greenpeace wand over the entire Zoo and none could be found for love or money.

Photo: Whaleoil. Something tells me the “beach” in question was not in New Zealand; otherwise they would have told us which one.

All that was available was juice in plastic bottles (New Zealand made) and soft drinks in glass and tins (New Zealand made). While I can appreciate only stocking New Zealand made drinks, we do have New Zealand bottled water, so we wondered what the hell was going on. We were told that the Zoo wanted to reduce the use of plastic so they decided to not provide chilled water any more. The fact that they were supplying sugar loaded orange juice in plastic bottles seemed to have escaped them. The fact that water can also be sold in glass also seemed to have escaped them.

We were told that water fountains were available around the Zoo so that we could drink water for free. We were told that we could purchase one of their $14 metal drink bottles and fill it from one of the water fountains. Cheapskate that I am, I instead purchased a Charlie’s Lemonade in a plastic bottle and gave it to my daughter to refill from the water fountain once I had drunk it all, as she hates juice and didn’t want a sugar loaded soft drink.

We were not the only people to do this. I saw many people filling up their plastic bottles at the fountains. There was only one little problem.

The water was WARM and not at all enjoyable to drink. My daughter only drank it to avoid dehydration, but she was not at all impressed.

Now Greenpeace might think that plastic is “pointless”, and the Auckland council certainly are happy enough to virtue signal their dislike of plastic at the expense of both Zoo goers and their bottomline. I and many others wanted to purchase the healthier option of chilled water but we were denied the opportunity. Just like the whole ‘single use’ plastic bag mess, the ban on plastic bottles (but only if they contain water) is crazy and dare I say it…pointless.

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