10-11 maggio 2008

Ovvero cosa fare nei pomeriggi e nei weekend con bimbi cittadini (post lunghissimo…)

Sono cresciuta in un paesino della cintura di Torino: negli anni ’70 era vera campagna, oggi un po’ di meno, ma grazie ad una pianificazione abbastanza saggia dell’ediliza non si è trasformato in un quartiere dormitorio, ma mantiene l’aria di paesotto di cintura. Per intenderci si vedono ancora bande di bambini che giocano per strada.

Tamir è cresciuto in un kibbutz e chiaramente ricorda la sua infanzia come un susseguirsi senza sosta di avventure in giro tra campi di cotone, vasche di pesci, agrumenti… (Potete dare un’occhiata al sito, purtroppo solo in ebraico: http://www.ganshmuel.org.il)

Il povero Matteo cresce in città: in centro, per di più, dove la circoscrizione è evidentemente troppo impegnata a sistemare per l’ennesima volta Piazza Castello piuttosto che rendere agibile l’unica ludoteca di zona anche per i bimbi piccoli… E così bisogna diventare creativi, organizzare gite, informarsi su iniziative in città per bimbi: ottimi punti di partenza torinobimbi, iter e Giovani Genitori.

Baitelandia

Sabato siamo partiti alla volta di un posto terrificante, ma ‘sti bimbi cittadini non hanno molte altre opportunità per vedere animali che non siano cani e gatti e quindi ci tocca: signore e signori, ecco a voi Baitelandia, luogo di dubbia moralità, ma con capre, pecore, uccelli, giri su cavallini (graditissimi) e tigri!!! In costruzione agghiacciante piscina per pinguini che si troveranno proprio bene sotto il sole battente di Cumiana-Pimonte… ma tant’è, Matteo è andato sui cavalli, ha visto le tigri, si è sbafato un costosissimo gelato e stanco ma felice è tornato a Torino. In programma gita a fattorie didattiche alla ricerca di animali che vivano nel proprio habitat e non in gabbie (ce la faremo?).

Un bimbo in bici

Domenica grande ritrovo di Bimbi In Bici e manifestazione di scuole torinesi: abbiamo gironzolato tra i banchetti delle scuole torinesi, che vendevano per beneficienza gli oggetti realizzati nei laboratori di creatività, e i giochi “dimenticati” della ludoteca AvrahKaDabra dei Giardini Reali. A Matteo sono piaciuti moltissimo i blocchi di legno con cui fare le torri e magari con l’aiuto di mio papà glieli costruisco. (Ci tengo a dire che questa orrenda foto è di Tamir… non per altro, ma siccome io mi sto documentando per fotografare meglio non vorrei creare malintesi… la maglia gialla di Matteo indica che lui è un bimbo in bici!)

Prossimi appuntamenti sicuri: 25 maggio Giornata Mondiale del Gioco in Piazza San Carlo.

3 thoughts on “10-11 maggio 2008

  1. I am very disappointed to read the negative comments you have written about a place that is working very hard to educate the general public about animals (we have just begun, but it is a start!).

    It is easy to be negative and to complain; it is much more challenging to be inspired and to see the great opportunity for families and children to learn about native and non-native animals … and maybe someday to be part of the solution instead of the problem!

    I must add that the penguins in question are of origin African Penguins (Black-footed), and therefore the “sun” is not a problem as much as the winter (they have both indoor facilities and cooled pools).
    The penguins (and all animals in a modern zoo these days) do not come from the “wild” but from structures inadequate to support them (other zoos, circuses, private homes), and we are working within the international scientific community to provide a home and the possibility to vary the genetic pool of this vulnerable species (category assigned by the IUCN).

    These are my personal comments: not reflecting the staff or structure. I hope to hear from you soon.

  2. Dear Leslie
    thank you very much for taking the time to clarify the Penguins issue.
    However I still feel that any place where non-native animals are on display should be questioned.

    The whole experience at Baitelandia was really controversial for my family: on one hand Matteo had the opportunity to actually see animals… on the other they were all kept in rings and he was allowed to really experience only the horse ride.
    The place is absolutely overpriced.
    On one cage there was a notice from Regione Piemonte saying that the animal (don’t remember which one) was brought to their medical attention.
    At the entrance we were greeted by 2 really kind guys with some newborn birds that the kids were allowed to pet…and scare!

    Also, the perception we had during the visit is not of a place where actual research is made or animals are rescued: after you post I checked back the site and found out that there are some projects going on(including your thesis, congrats!). So thank you for letting me know about this aspect of the park.

    Still, since the whole saving/researchig aspect was not really perceived by us, I would have preferred to see only farm animals and be able to be close to them, pet them, see how they are fed instead of seeing 2 tigers through a thick glass!

  3. Dear Francina,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response, it was very much appreciated.

    We often hear similar comments (parents against the zoo concept but bringing their children only to introduce them to animals for the first time…).
    Partly I believe it is a historical perception of zoos in Italy, due to the fact that most were built in the 70’s (metal bars, cement, cages) and have not been modernized. Zoos in northern Europe are already very different experiences.

    A big priority for us is to improve our “fattoria”, we are hoping to completely re-do it this winter for next year, creating an extremely large space where visitors have the option of observing from outside or entering inside with the farm/domestic animals (petting zoo). The animals would always have the option of entering an area where people cannot go, obviously!

    Most of our animals were brought to us by the Provincia or Corpo Forestale because they cannot be reintroduced to the wild. The lince is one example (she was found in a private home, she has no more claws and would therefore never survive…), now a Genetta. Even our tigers were entrusted to us by the authorities after they closed the circus where the tigers were born.

    Your points and comments are very well-received, thank you again for taking the time to respond. We keep trying to improve and we like to listen to our visitors comments!

    Best wishes,
    Leslie

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