A Scene from the Lowry Park Zoo.

Today we learned that the animals can go wherever they want to.

We were visiting the baboons, and a very large male baboon was facing us just on the other side of the retaining mote. We were right a eye level, staring at each other; the large male baboon and I. Not much more than ten feet of water separated the two of us, when I confirmed that the baboon was a male. He had been just siting on a rock directly above the water when his shoulders visibly relaxed, and it almost appeared that he had cast a fishing line into the water. The lack of fishing pole and the faint sound of running water ruined the metaphor. I was barely able to contain my amusement when a stuffy looking yuppie mom was excitedly snapping pictures of the large baboon with her compact 35mm (with built in zoom), false enthusiasm in her voice while yapping with her small child. By the tone of her voice (a kind of distracted, doing two things at once tone – trying to take pictures and carrying on meaningful conversation with a small child at the same time sound), I’m quite sure she did not notice the baboon had his line set. I’m taking all of this in, and I wonder at what her reaction will be when she notices all of this, after the pictures are developed: “Here’s that great big baboon I was telling you about. He was right up close, looking ri. . .wha. . .oohh?”