22/05/2013 10:52 20°C 68°F
The importance that the human being has given to nature, since time immemorial, has been the key for its development as dominant species.In the Mexico of the Great Tenochtitlan, Empire Mexica´s relationship with nature was closely connected, it is enough to refer to Warriors Eagle or Jaguar, or to the proper City´foundation in order to give proo of this. It was in this pre-Hispanic Mexico in which the emperor Moctezuma maintained a space where so many species and gardens were arranged with such an exquisite art, that the dazzled conquerors could not believe what their eyes were looking at.
Hernán Cortés described them as following: " Moctezuma had a house ... where he possessed a very beautiful garden with hundreds of viewpoints going out of it, and their marbles and flagstones were made of jasper very well worked. At this house there were rooms in which two great princes could lodge with all their services. The house had ten ponds, where there were all lineages of water birds settled in those zones, which are alot, diverse and domestic, ; and for those belonging to rivers and lagoons of salty water, which needed to be empty from time to time for cleaning [...] every kind of bird was given the maintenance proper for its nature and the resources they needed from the field [...] on every pond and reservoirs of these birds there were their corridors and kindly- carved viewpoints, where the honorable Moctezuma recreated himself and observed... "
With the time and the conquest, daydream gardens were gone, and it was not until 1923 that the biologist Alfonso Luis Herrera founded Chapultepec's Zoo with the financing of those times Ministry of Agriculture and Promotion, of the Society of Biological Studies and with the citizens' support interested in the care of the animal species. The project nevertheless declined to the passage of time till a more recent restoration in which the Government of the City sought to group the animals in climatic zones and create natural habitat that were replacing the former and oppressive cages, as well as the railings and fences. Likewise, the collection of birds was constructed inspired by the house of Moctezuma's birds.
In the accomplishment of this project more than 2 500 persons took part under the direction of Luis Ignacio Sanchez, Francisco de Pablo, Rafael Files, Marielena Hoyo, Ricardo Legorreta, Roger Sherman, Laura Yáñez and many more, who with great enthusiasm had the objective of finishing the remodeling of the zoo in record time.
The first thing the visitor must see when arriving at the zoo, is the small station of the train, which circulated along Chapultepec, and that today is a museum in which you can learned about the history of the famous park.
Going out of the museum, already more informed about the history, it is possible to contemplate a plane where there are marked four exhibition zones, formed according to climates and habitat. These are: tropical forest, moderate forest, savanna, desert and grassland. In each of these areas we can see the most representative animals.
A causeway, where some cafeterias may be found, connects these four zones where the animals are isolated only by natural systems like pits, waters and uneven pieces of land. If due to the animals´size they require be observed closely, the division is made by unnoticed cristals, nets and wires.
For being buried into downtown and possessing a limited area, the reconstruction of the zoo required a special treatment that respects the architectural climate of which it is surrounded, but that at the same time caused the spectator feel inside the different environments it shows, in such way that this could forget his surroundings and observing the animals and feel oneself at home.
In our tour we saw a couple of coyotes moving away from the crowd, anxious lynxes stretching suddenly like cats do to continue their rapid movements, and a lemur, very long tail small animal, of greyish coat and thin snout, daring to the public his big, round and yellow eyes.
At the herpetary we enjoy the alcoetzalín, symbol in the ancient Mexico of the creative force. The former settlers of our country said that those born under this sign would be good workers, would have great wealth and would be strong and healthy. This animal represented also sexual instinct.
We folowed the same path until a deviation went out to the encounter and drived us to the collection of birds, which includes the exhibition of many species coming from the Moctezuma's collection of birds and others from different zones.
It would be impossible to list in this article all the animals of the zoo, but some as the jaguar, the tapir and the giraffes capture public´s attention. Nevertheless, the aquarium is where the visitors stop to see more time, as if an unknown magnetism be keeping them in the mystery of the aquatic world. Constructed in two levels, the lower is the most interesting, like if observing seals passing fast like arrows and polar bear swiming were like an enchantment.
On the other hand, it is for praising that biologists, engineers, architects, executives and workers in general, in order to capture and reproduce the essence of the landscapes, since doing an exact copy of the nature would not be possible.
Among the objectives that Chapultepec's Zoo sets out to do, is that one of saving to many endangered species, when carrying out the task of increasing public awareness about the importance that the animals have into the balance of the ecosystems of our planet.
An example of the previous paragraph is the case of the black rhinoceros, which has diminished rapidly in distribution and population. This animal has existed around 60 millions of years ago , is solitary and only seeks for company in reproduction periods; it is in danger of extinction for the loss and destruction of its habitat, and for the illegal and indiscriminate trade done with its coveted horns, which are thought to be aphrodisiac.
And as last message, Chapultepec's Zoo is another proof that if man may influence nature, he must do it with respect and every care to avoid damaging it, because she is a whole harmonious where every pice plays an important role. Let's not forget that the flora and the fauna are important parts of nature and if we want to preserve ourselves as human race we must take care of our environment.