Sleepovers at the Zoo

Some zoos in the U.S. are conducting interesting programmes to attract more visitors and give animal lovers thrilling experiences.

The Philadelphia zoo has been running a ‘ ”Night Flight Overnight Program”, where children aged five to 12 sleep in the zoo’s tree house’. 

The Denver Zoo runs a ‘Bunk with the Beasts’ programme, where a two-hour tour of the zoo is included. Visitors are provided with night vision scopes  so they can view the nocturnal animal and birds such as owls.

Overnight guests at the Queens zoo in New York  ‘make breakfast treats for parrots, bears, pigs, pumas and coyotes, and watch the keepers feed them to the animals the next morning’.

These Zoo sleepover are becoming increasingly popular with visitors enjoying the opportunity to experience the unusual sights and sounds at the zoo after dark.


This news report reminded me of another type of sleepover I read about last year.

This was not in a zoo, but in a tiny village in a little corner of Uttar Pradesh.

Rahul, son of Rajiv and grandson of Indira, is member of parliament for the area, and invited Miliband to spend a day out of a big-city tour of south Asia to go to “the other India”

It was a brick shack with a thatched roof, a mud floor, a wooden door at the front, and gaping hole at the back. A cow rested in the straw outside.

The two, Rahul Gandhi and David Miliband, ‘stayed up until after midnight sitting under the stars and listening to accounts of country life from a village women’s group.’

“I wanted him to see the spirit of the poor people in India. It is no less than the spirit of the rich,” Gandhi said.

One hopes, since he is likely the future PM, that Rahul Gandhi himself is familiar with the spirit of the poor people in India.



  1. What a perfect analogy. For Rahul and Delhi’s brat pack, a sleepover in the India beyond their tall fences is no different from a sleepover in the zoo. In fact, they will better empathise and relate to the mute animals a safe distance away in their enclosures, than they will with their fellow Indians.


    1. I think you’re right. They could relate better to animals in a zoo. How confused they must be when interacting with ordinary people whose lifestyles they know absolutely nothing about.


  2. “Oye David”, he said with a twitch
    “Their spirit is no less than the rich”
    Their batsmen is no 1
    But he hardly makes a run,
    Because we have completely messed up the pitch…


  3. I remember Rahul barging into Kalavathi’s house and the ‘news’ became so popular! I think Rahul enjoys ‘visiting’ tiny villages where the people adore him as if he is a god! But they don’t know that Rahul is just a sight-seeing person like we are in the zoos.

    But Rahul will become the PM, when Sonia decides. Will his village tours make any difference in his attitude?

    Very apt comparison, manju!


  4. I was wondering about the sleepover news till I came to the second part LOL
    One wonders if MMS has started his weekly tete-e-tete with the press to make it clear that he has no intention of vacating his post. But it is just a matter of when, right? And no, he would still see the poor as those many number of votes even when he becomes PM.


    1. I was going to write explaning why I thought RG’s sleeping in huts was like sightseeing at the zoo- but then I thought it might be more effective this way. 🙂


  5. LOL! what an apt comparison! For the Gandhi family, the entire country is a Zoo.. nd there are monkeys doing their antiques inside the parliament and the ordinary citizens (including myself) are the donkeys?


    1. Good to see you online again, Radha. 🙂
      Election gimmick is right! And this week he’s on a padayatra in UP, sitting under Neem trees and drinking Lassi. 😀


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