Yesterday my wife and I went to the Central Park Zoo. Going to the zoo is something of a tradition for me. Whenever I used to come to New York City to visit family, I’d always make it a point to go see the Central Park Zoo and the American Museum of Natural History. I have photos of me as a little kid and then again as a teenager in front of the blue whale in the AMNH. I also have a fond memory of the giant ant farm in the Central Park Zoo. It inspired me to get a smaller version and keep it on my desk at home.
While living in Asia with my wife, I learned to hate ants. They got into everything and there was no way to kill them all or keep them out. They even did night time raids on the pet’s food bowls, carrying whole pieces of cat food up the wall and out of the house through the ceiling. Still, that didn’t stop me from wanting to share the excitement of a giant ant farm, and the memory of me being there as a kid, with my wife when we went to the zoo yesterday.
Unfortunately, we were disappointed. All that was left of the amazing, huge colony were a few dead ants. I spoke to one of the people that works there and she said the colony’s queen had died and they were having trouble replacing her. She said it had something to do with the government making importation of a new queen difficult. She also said they no longer had an “ant person” and would need to hire someone.
The habitat isn’t completely abandoned. While peering this way and that, looking for ants, I realized I was staring at a bunch of hissing cockroaches. Disgusting things. I hope whatever issues the zoo is having get worked out soon, because I’d much rather see the ants. I wish I’d had an opportunity to get some good photos of that colony before it died out.
The trip to the zoo wasn’t all disappointment. I’ll post more tomorrow.