Sarasota Jungle Days: You Can(‘t) Go Back

The memories of Sarasota Jungle Gardens are vivid in my head: a macaw on a little bike, another one on my arm, alligators basking, flamingos silhouetted against the bright water in the sun, marvelous things all around.

I don’t remember how I got there. I don’t remember any of the who’s and what’s. It was just the magic of being there.

And so I went back, many years later, and listened to the ponytailed guy’s well-worn bits about his cranky colorful birds, and watched the children watching him, wowed by the birds meows and cackles.

The show went for 15 minutes, me and the other kids getting restless before it was over, and I walked around the zoo, glancing at the snakes and owls and lemurs before getting back to my car. The magic was no more. I had to call my lawyer and start the lawsuit against them for using my image without permission.