Phoenix Zoo field trip planned by UICA Youth committee, written by:
Muhammad Sarmad Khan (Youth Committee Leader).
I was actually quite enthusiastic when the youth committee at UICA decided to add a trip to the zoo as part of the summer youth program. The only thing that was hindering my enthusiasm was the fact that the trip was planned for July 15th; but more on that later..
One of my favorite pastimes is watching nature documentaries, especially if they were narrated by Sir David Attenborough, I would have to watch it at any cost. I have many interesting facts floating around my head about different kinds of animals.
These facts make me appreciate the creation of Allah even more; and more than that, the creator Himself. “We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?” (41:53).
So on the morning of July 15th I woke up excited to go to the zoo. I was running a bit late since I went to bed a little later than usual. As soon as I stepped out of the front door, the heat hit me straight in the face. Determined to see the animals I got in my car and started to drive, my excitement growing with each mile. I was greeted by Khalto Lamese (one of the senior members of the Youth Committee) at the entrance.
Little by little, the members of our party started to show up and eventually we made our way into the zoo. The first exhibit we came across was the giraffe enclosure. Apart from having long necks, giraffes also have pretty long tongues which are thorn proof. That is why giraffes love eating the leaves on the acacia trees which have pretty big thorns. Next up were the zebras and flamingos. The flamingos were nesting in their enclosure and some had newborn chicks. It was quite a heartwarming sight.
As we turned our attention to the zebras, I asked the people in my party a very intriguing question. Why do zebras have stripes? Most said “to camouflage from predators!” That answer is true to a certain extent, however most zoologists conclude that the stripes protect them from biting flies so abundantly found on the African savannah.
The rest of the trip went by exactly like that. We would come up to an enclosure and I would share some interesting facts about the animals on display and on we would go to the next enclosure. As we were going about, the enthusiasm of this little girl named Maryum caught my attention. Her energy was so infectious that it somehow made me forget about the excessive heat of the Phoenix Summer.
One of the most memorable trips to the zoo for me. Much more meaningful than the times I was going to perfect my sketching skills.