Time sure flies when you are having fun. I have been in Seoul for over a month now but it seems like a week. So much to see, so much to do, so much work to get done.
The past few weeks especially were filled with meetings, typing, revising and discussing our research and our plan of action. Our first data collection was last Friday and went super well, but left our brains as fried as Korean fried chicken. After a week of working from morning to evening every day, it was time for a good weekend. In the Netherlands, it was Easter weekend but in Korea they do not really celebrate Easter. However, we decided that we could (you can take the Dutch out of the Netherlands, but you cannot take the Nederlands out of the Dutch right?) take a full on Easter weekend. Unfortunately we could not take the Friday off but we chilled all day in Hangang Park on Saturday and went to the Seoul Zoo on Monday. Not to make you people back home jealous or anything, but it was 23 degrees on second Easter…..
Above you see a picture of me relaxing in Hangang Park. This park is located next to the Han river and one of the busiest places in Seoul on a sunny Saturday. We drank some beer, ate some Kimbab and sat in the sun for a few hours.
On Monday, we decided to leave our work for one more day and went to the Seoul Zoo, located at the Seoul Grand Park. However, we had some discussion before we went to the Zoo, at the Zoo itself AND after we left the Zoo. Because we are very aware that animals should not be locked up in a cage, it made us doubt to pay for such cruelty.
I have to say that ever since I went to Kenya and did a few game drives in the nature there, I have not visited a Zoo. After seeing the natural habitat of such amazing animals and experiencing how animals should live, run, eat and be, it is hard to look at a zebra in a small meadow while it should be running around, or a lion in a cage that should be running behind the zebra (circle of life guys). I cannot express how grateful I am to have seen the actual wild life of Africa and thinking back about it giving me happy feelings. Honestly one of the most special experiences so far.
We hoped they had the black and white panda (they didn’t) but this Red Panda was also really cute
However, unfortunately Zoos are still here and they will be for a long time. Most animals that you see luckily are born in captivity and do not know any better. Next to that, this Zoo also does research on the animals and this helps the wild life and helps us understand how to protect the animals better, especially more threatened species. A few years ago, this Zoo actually has dolphins but last year, they released the dolphins. The stated: dolphins should be happy, and not be held in captivity. I thought that was really good of them.
They just renewed the cages for the tigers. The Zoo had about 12 Siberian tigers, and they looked gorgeous.
We really enjoyed our day at the Zoo a lot, the park was huge but walking in the sun was great after a week of a lot of smog and dust coming from China.
Story by Hannah