You don't always find a zoo in Animal Jam, but they're out there.

Zoos are in a jammer's den. They have "cages," which are just outlines of a box, usually having an animal plushie or statue in it to indicate that animal goes in that cage. Most of the users will escape from their cage, randomly fight or claim to be another animal when they're not. Take a bunny being a wolf pup for example. Jammers would jump over the "fences" and escape their cage, usually only to murder other animals in a hostile way.

Those aren't the only problems in Animal Jam zoos. This bothers me the most. Some jammers dress their animals like a rainbow and still claim to be a proper animal. They even wear accessories and still play as a real life animal. It really irritates me.

Well, I only go to zoos for the fun of it or to tell them what they're doing wrong. They usually end up raging, blocking and reporting me. It amuses me how immature they act. I would expect more out of them. Well, once, there was an occurrence I didn't expect.

I went to this jammer's den, claiming to be a zoo. The den was quite organized, the only pens having wolves, tigers, bunnies, cheetahs, snow leopards and arctic wolves. The pens were open-spaced in the Fantasy Castle den. It was organized and seemed nice. Most of the jammers playing as the zoo animals were in the wrong pens or fighting, so I had to break them up and direct them to the right pen. Things actually worked out for once, but the den owner seemed irritated.

He began to tell them to remove the items they had on, because animals didn't wear items in zoos. A lot of the jammers got mad and began raging, but didn't leave. He announced he was going to lock the den, and the others began to panic. They pleaded for him to not lock the den and began taking their items off. I was a cheetah with yellow fur, a pale underbelly, brown eyes, and blue-gray spots. I seemed normal, so I stayed calm.

The den owner, a fox, said he locked the den, but none of us left. A jammer said she got bored and said she'd leave. After a few seconds, she then began to scream that she couldn't get out of the den. Others began to try to flee, but couldn't leave. Soon, the den was full of panicking jammers, still in the pens they were in. They couldn't seem to get out, just like the others cheetahs around me. I couldn't change my animal's color.

My screen began to darken, a bit of faint static appearing on the screen. Jammers around me began to scream that their screen was getting dark. I read the chat from the chat box. They were going through the same thing I was. The screen began to grow darker. I could barely see more jammers walking into the den, then instantly regretting their choice. After a few seconds, I could see the den owner type something in right as my screen faded to pitch black.

"HAVE FUN!!!!!"

I logged off. I left my computer off for a few hours. I didn't want to see what happened yet, and I had to get over some of the anxiety that flooded over me. I ended up leaving it off until another day. When I got logged on, my screen was still pitch black for a few minutes until it began to fade. The graphics seemed to change, along with the controls. The game looked 3-D and I could hold the left mouse button and drag it to move the view. I could see my cheetah laying alongside many other animals, some of them having their heads thrust back, limbs twisted and necks broken. There were too many piles of animals to count. It looked like a hoarding scene! The scene was against the cartoony theme of Animal Jam- a horror behind bright color walls. The room was gray, possibly a metal room. A few dim rays of light shone down on one of the many bloody piles of animals. My cheetah raised its head, pushing herself up with her front legs. The back legs of my cheetah were broken and her back was sloped, as if something heavy was dropped onto it and broke the spine.


(Art by me.)

I began to move my animal. She dragged herself slowly across the bloodied, metal floor. Every few seconds, a faint banging noise could be heard, as if an animal was slammed against the hard ground by an entity. A few whimpers would follow after the noise, along with a few breaths. My cheetah began to slightly quiver as I dragged her along a bloodied path. After a few minutes of slow movement, I came to a wall. Through my headphones, I heard a scuffling noises that grew louder every few seconds. My cheetah couldn't turn around. In the distance, I saw a pair of two dark orange eyes, the rest of whatever the thing was covered by a dark mist. A loud yelp split into the air, a crack, and a loud thump. Blood trickled out of the mist.

My cheetah's expression began to switch from frightened to wide-eyed and in fear. Out of the shadows, a dark beast lumbered out. It was a bulky, black canine-like being, having ripped, large ears, two orange eyes, large jaws, large paws, large claws and a hunched back. Blood dripped off its lower jaw, which hung open, revealing sharp, dog-like teeth. It squinted its eyes at my animal, letting out a demented, bark noise. It turned its head, turning around and slowly padding away. It had a long tail with sharp spines running down it.

No Leaving

(Art by me.)

It lumbered over to a brown wolf with pale gray underbelly markings, who was frozen from fear. The beast let out a roar, its jaw hanging open. It lunged at the wolf, its massive paws ramming against its belly. Claws dug into the wolf's belly, ripping the skin. The claws tore through the wolf's belly, yanking out long intestines. The wolf dropped to the ground, blood welling out of the wound. It was surely dead.

The canine turned its head to my cheetah. It charged at me, letting out a savage roar. My cheetah began to shrink to the ground as the beast slapped her with a paw, knocking her over. It grabbed my cheetah in its mouth, throwing her up into the air and ripping its fangs into her belly. My animal let out a yowl of pain, hitting the ground with a loud thump. The monster tore its fangs deeper into the wound, yanking out the insides. It locked its jaws on her neck, shaking side to side wildly. My cheetah was slammed against the wall, the side of its head shattering. She hit the ground again, remaining stiff. The beast clawed her and let out a roar before stalking off to murder another animal. My screen faded to black and the tab closed out.

After this incident, I had to make a new account. I thought that if I used that account, I would go through that with the bunny and tiger I had. I didn't want to play Animal Jam for a while after this. I still feel odd since that day. I now fear the dark, despite my age. I don't like the color orange anymore, either. It still feels like that shadowy beast is following me, but I can't see it...

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