Now, I realize, some of you reading this are probably wondering, “What is this guy talking about? I thought he was supposed to write columns about the zoo?”
Bear with me a second (no pun intended).
Many times I have walked around the Queens Zoo and watched the children excitedly pulling on their parents arm as they try to hurry them along to the sea lion feed. I’ve watched the look on a parent’s face as their kids run ahead to an exhibit, then return to the parents to report back, “It’s a bear!” and finally run on ahead again.
I have often considered what a privilege it is to work in a place that builds life-long memories for people every single day. Everyone remembers their trips to the zoo. It is an opportunity for families and friends to explore new and interesting things together. And animals are one of the few subjects that are as interesting to four-year-olds as they are to 64-year-olds.They learn, discover, and experience the diversity of life together - quality time and learning about life.
And, what makes it great for me is that my job is to try and maximize that experience for everyone who comes to the zoo. If you knew that what you did on any given day would be remembered for a lifetime, wouldn’t you make an extra effort to make that memory as good as it can be?
Well, I know that people’s experiences at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo is something they will remember, which is why we make sure that all the grounds, the animals, and the exhibits are as beautiful as they can possibly be everyday. It is also why the staff tries to be as helpful as possible. They understand they are part of a great experience for people, and that experience may be remembered for a lifetime.
The next time you find yourself working really hard to make it through your day, do yourself a favor and visit the zoo. When you get here, take a deep breath and smell the roses. You may think it smells like cows, bison, or mountain lions, but it’s really roses. Enjoy. It’s why we are here.
Scott Silver is the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo.