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Zoos: Pro or Con?

 
 
bobsmyth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 04:40 pm
Zoos: Pro or Con?
I'll tell you a story and it's true although you probably won't believe it. I wouldn't blame you if you don't.

When I was in my teens I took my girlfriend to the zoo. I didn't know it but they'd just got in a black panther. I saw it pacing in the cage back and forth back and forth in that nervous pace you often see with them. I was shocked to see an open wound on its flank doubtless from the trip there. As it continued to pace there flashed in my mind an image of the cat perched over a game trail in the jungle. It was so vivid I was mesmerized. The panther stopped pacing to and fro and started to pace from the back to the front of the cage. It made three circuits this way and then stopped in front of me and looked me in the eye. It knew. It held my gaze for awhile and then turned and went inside. My girlfriend Maureen was looking at me funny and asked "What was that?" Then I noticed the whole crowd there was looking at me. She believed me. This story hasn't been told very often because I don't want to be put away. I still think of it once in a while.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 05:21 pm
Bob, have you ever seen "Sound: Rahsaan Roland Kirk and John Cage"? Probably not, it's a pretty obscure experimental film from way back. But Roland Kirk was this crazy blind saxophonist (and flautist) from the 60s, and there's a bit in it where he's walking around a zoo in some city with a little girl on his shoulders who is telling him where to go. He's tootling on a flute as they walk around. She directs him to a wolf enclosure, where he starts to play some scales. A couple of the wolves run up and start yipping and howling at him, and he plays back variations of their noises. They converse like this for a little while, the jazz musician and the wolves.

I think you'd appreciate it.
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 05:24 pm
Bobsmyth -- What a cool story. I believe you. I think that you had a real connection going with that panther. Poor thing, I just hate it when they pace. It makes me jumpy.

When my daughter was about three years old, she had an interesting experience with a full-sized gorilla, I think this was at Woodland Park, because the local zoo doesn't have gorillas. She was eating popcorn on one side of the glass window and he was eating bits of food on the other. She put a piece of popcorn near the glass, an offering. The gorilla took a little piece of his food and put it near the glass too. They eventually had a lineup of pieces of food before she ran out of popcorn. And then she held her little hand out and touched the window. The gorilla's big finger reached over and touched the other side of the glass. It really should have been captured on film.
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 05:44 pm
I think that zoos along with wildlife areas and scientific research stations are important for their combined efforts of educating, studies and breeding of all animals, most those endangered. While I agree that "good" zoos are better than bad ones, i think the way of bad zoos is few and far between, compared to the past and that zoos today have such high standards that luckily for all the way of bad zoos should be gone, although not soon enough.

My favorite facility well----
Giant Panda Breeding and Research Facility-Wolong
http://www.globio.org/projects/wildorphans/wolong/index.shtml

I however had a great time with a gorilla at the National Zoo in DC so, itll always have a soft spot for me.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 06:28 pm
Patio Dog--

...and Reagan was cursed with Alzheimer's and can't remember any redwoods.
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mabon52
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 10:21 pm
The only zoo animal that seems to be consistantly happy is the sea lion.All the mammals seem to be inmates in the human system of nonjudicial punishment.God only knows what the reptiles and birds are thinking.Next time you go to a zoo,observe the humans.Most bounce from exhibit to exhibit like they where surfing the net.All too often it is an attempt to educate that gets dumded down to entertainment.The most exciting animal observations I have seen have been in the wild.True I'll never see a tiger in the Boston suburbs,but I have seen a surprising array of wildlife.And when I visited the Everglades we disembarked at an alligator pond and walked within feet of the alligators without barriers.I think you have more respect for an animal when you approach them on equal terms.Also when it comes to zoos in general I feel we should be proactive.If we see an aminal in distress we should see the person in charge and make it known.That animal may need veterinary care or a change of venue.One last comment.Does anyone remember the original Twilight Zone episode where an Earthling made contact with another 'intelligent' species?He was given a beautiful home with all the things that Earthling like,until the curtain was drawn open in the living room where he saw his fate.He was an exhibit in a cage to a superior and garish species.He promply went mad.
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 10:59 pm
Quinn -- those gorillas... they are charming.

Mabon -- I think you're right about meeting animals on even footing. You were brave to step off the boardwalks in the Everglades, I'm impressed. You also bring up a good point: if we do see an animal in distress, we SHOULD say something. I suppose you are right about the sealions, but having just seen some in the wild, I wonder how happy in a zoo they really are.

We'd never do to our own dogs and cats what we do to zoo animals.
0 Replies
 
CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 11:44 pm
Zoos make me cry. They are bad.
But they help restore endangered animals. Well ok, maybe. I guess they're good.

But they have concrete floors. Would you live in a zoo? They are so bad.
But they let people learn more, and then we respect more! That's definitely good.

We put them on display, like they were animals or something. It's inhuman and just bad.
Maybe if we called them Animal Centers, and let people watch as we primarily mainly helped the animals? That'd be good.

They don't get to run, and hunt, challenge, explore, discover, find, pursue, fail, learn, heal, and breath really breath. Their nature is ... changed. It's bad.
But kids need to know things exist for real, not just on made-up synthetic TV. Zoos are good.

Did the animal want to be in the zoo? Ask them, go ahead ask them. Zoos are bad.
Oh shuttup, what do you know? Eat your popcorn and be happy. Zoos are good.

*I* wouldn't want to be in a zoo. Zoos are bad.
But you already ARE in a zoo! What do you think 9-to-5, driving around, shopping, working, scrambling, and doing what everyone says is?? It's all a zoo and it's all GOOD!

People should go camping and hiking. Nature is so friendly, like your living room! An isolated animal apart from it's environment is like looking at your thumbnail and saying "That's me!" It gives a piecemeal false impression of what an animal *is*. It's bad.
Hey, use your imagination. Fill in the gaps. Zoos help to feed the imagination and the thirst for knowledge. They're good!

Zoos are created by humans for selfish reasons. They are simply taking, taking, gimme, gimme, look at that, creating what humans want, however humans judge this and that. Go ahead and create your zoos, but leave the animals out of it. They are bad.
But that's what humans do ... we decide what animals want. Then we do our "good" deeds and feel good about doing good, because we are good, so very very good. Animals need to be managed. They need that regular schedule and confidence that only humans can provide. Zoos are good.

Are you sure? Really, really sure?
Yeah.
Ok, let's go get a hamburger... Have you ever had an ostrich burger? THAT's educational!






-----
I was stalked by a mountain lion once. Going to a zoo doesn't capture much about life, in comparison. I'd rather capture life by living. Could we encourage that?
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 08:36 am
Once while touring around Montreal I was surprised to have some large animal brush past the back of my legs...first thought..gosh..thats a big dog someones bringing out here..then its tail swished by my back...and I saw the look on the faces of those with me...I tell ya, I was a bit worried...
and turned around ever so slowly to watch the sway of a leopard going past..whew..I was speechless.
I got to spend some time with this cat, and it was wonderful. It seems it had been brought into the country illegally as a wee one but, by the time authorities caught up, it was already desensitized and the punishment was to provide adequate housing, food, and educational services to the public all under strict supervision.
The gentleman who loved the wee cub...now wished he never cuddled with it in bed as it seemed to still like it very much, mostly in the middle of the night...lol..poor both of them.


There is a safari in NJ <NJ of all places..lol> that you can drive through that I always thought was much more interesting than a regular zoo for both the animals and the visitors.

ZooTycoon is a lovely little game I enjoy playing as well...you get to build perfect little environments for the critters..kinda nice.
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 May, 2003 08:03 pm
Piffka, I enjoyed that trip tremendously!! Can you make it to Albuquerque next week?

I agree with just about everyone on this thread with this caveat: even "good" zoos fall prey (pun intended) to marketing and profit:



One poster rightly mentioned reporting an animal in distress. We also need to be aware of what happens when an animal has lost its "allure."
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mabon52
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2003 06:29 pm
This is the first I've heard of selling 'excess' animals to hunters.I thought zoos where regulated,perhaps even bound by a charter.To hear this news is most disheartening.I certainly would not support a zoo that engaged in that practice.This is reminscent of the racing grayhounds.Many are destroyed when their ability to make money is past.There are some wonderful organizations that place these dogs in homes.They make excellant pets.I know one that is a stable dog where my son rides.He roams freely and is everybody's pal.His name is Stingray because of his markings.I wish I could adopt one,but with four cats and a corgi I'm booked up.So to assauge my conscience I contribute $50 a year to my local organization.Of coure zoo animals usually aren't canidates for home placement.So it makes me wonder if we have too many zoos.I would advocate quality over quanity.Perhaps regional zoos to replace the current system of a zoo in every major city.And even then I would like to see specialized zoos,instead of trying to show one or two of as many species as possible.My only leverage is to not support the bad ones.This idea may not be popular but I think an 'animals first' policy is best in the long run.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2003 06:41 pm
Generally speaking, zoos are good if they are maintained properly, because they offer people unable to travel a chance to see animals they otherwise would never see. I think there's a difference between 'sanctuaries' for animals and zoos. They all have their pros and cons, but what doesn't? c.i.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2003 01:25 pm
the visit to the desert museum in Tucson was the closet thing to a zoo i've been to in over 2 decades. i understand that some version of a zoo might be necessary to gain interest and funding for saving species, but i find it far too painful to go and see the animals there.
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 May, 2003 05:45 pm
There you go. If you empathize with the animals, then a zoo is just too much like prison. How can you enjoy it when the animals are so obviously living shattered lives?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2003 02:58 pm
Especially after spending several days in the Serengeti where you see thousands upon thousands of animals in their natural habitat - running free. Wink c.i.
0 Replies
 
leathalboy7
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 10:32 pm
i feel your pain patiodog
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 11:12 pm
CodeBorg wrote:
Zoos make me cry. They are bad.
But they help restore endangered animals. Well ok, maybe. I guess they're good.

But they have concrete floors. Would you live in a zoo? They are so bad.
But they let people learn more, and then we respect more! That's definitely good.

We put them on display, like they were animals or something. It's inhuman and just bad.
Maybe if we called them Animal Centers, and let people watch as we primarily mainly helped the animals? That'd be good.

They don't get to run, and hunt, challenge, explore, discover, find, pursue, fail, learn, heal, and breath really breath. Their nature is ... changed. It's bad.
But kids need to know things exist for real, not just on made-up synthetic TV. Zoos are good.

Did the animal want to be in the zoo? Ask them, go ahead ask them. Zoos are bad.
Oh shuttup, what do you know? Eat your popcorn and be happy. Zoos are good.

*I* wouldn't want to be in a zoo. Zoos are bad.
But you already ARE in a zoo! What do you think 9-to-5, driving around, shopping, working, scrambling, and doing what everyone says is?? It's all a zoo and it's all GOOD!

People should go camping and hiking. Nature is so friendly, like your living room! An isolated animal apart from it's environment is like looking at your thumbnail and saying "That's me!" It gives a piecemeal false impression of what an animal *is*. It's bad.
Hey, use your imagination. Fill in the gaps. Zoos help to feed the imagination and the thirst for knowledge. They're good!

Zoos are created by humans for selfish reasons. They are simply taking, taking, gimme, gimme, look at that, creating what humans want, however humans judge this and that. Go ahead and create your zoos, but leave the animals out of it. They are bad.
But that's what humans do ... we decide what animals want. Then we do our "good" deeds and feel good about doing good, because we are good, so very very good. Animals need to be managed. They need that regular schedule and confidence that only humans can provide. Zoos are good.

Are you sure? Really, really sure?
Yeah.
Ok, let's go get a hamburger... Have you ever had an ostrich burger? THAT's educational!






-----
I was stalked by a mountain lion once. Going to a zoo doesn't capture much about life, in comparison. I'd rather capture life by living. Could we encourage that?


I didn't see this thread the first time around.
But here it is in 2008 & I find Codeborg here! Very Happy

(Where are you Codeborg? I miss you! Sad )

But anyway, I agree with much of what Codeborg had to say.

About the only justification for zoos in the 21st century is that they provide a haven for endangered species. The challenge is to make the havens as "user friendly" as possible to the animals there. To make them feel as little like inmates as possible, I guess.

I haven't been to my local (Melbourne) zoo in ages, but the last time I was there, there was a very pleasing development: the observing humans were often in the "caged" areas, while some of the animals were wandering around much less constrained by too small spaces. Seeing the giraffes roaming free (sort of!) was a delight! And If the animals were asleep, having an afternoon siesta during your visit, too bad. You didn't see them that day.

But there are still too many animals which need considerably more space, more freedom of movement, places to hide, or are too confined. But I can see that management is working on it, which is something, I guess ...
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jan, 2008 08:53 am
Re: zoos: pro or con?
bobsmyth wrote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sozobe, I could kiss you. Zoos are sometimes the only chance some species have for survival. Reluctant as I am to have wild creatures caged the alternative which is exterminated is certainly less desirable. To my knowledge the only okapi left are in tne Ituri Forest. Approximately 30,000 are left 5,000 of which are in a wildlife preserve. The area has been the scene of fighting recently and I hate to think of what will happen to them.

The passenger pigeons in our own country have gone when once they darkened the sky. There are too many instances to list here but if zoos is what it takes more power to them.


I agree. I remember at one point really disliking zoos as these wild animals should be free. However, the reality is for some species it is there only means of survival - some animals are so close to instinction that only alternative to ensure the survival of the species is to raise them in zoos.

I do like the preservation part of helping animals, but for some it could be too late.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jan, 2008 09:01 am
Wow, this is old!

I think I said this before too but I've read more since, that while there is a direct conservation effect (caring for endangered species) there is an indirect conservation effect too, as people are more willing to take action to protect animals that they have seen, face-to-face.

Still conflicted though, along the same lines as what I wrote earlier.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jan, 2008 09:08 am
You will love this encounter with the animals at the zoo. This particular zoo I was at also had small kiddie rides (fortunately). While my girls were on one of the rides, I noticed some laughter and noise behind me. There was several monkey cages and one in particular was entertaining. There was a male and female monkey - can't remember the species, but a larger size - not as large as a chimp though. This guy and women were making faces at the monkeys and the monkeys were making faces back. The male monkey in particular didn't seem very happy about this. Then the male monkey turned around bent over and basically flashed us a moon. The women did the same thing. This transpired for several times. Then the male monkey crossed the line. He turned sideways and grabbed his penis and began humping and masturbating in front of our eyes. I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. Thank goodness the kids were on a ride - imagine trying to explain that!
0 Replies
 
 

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