Wednesday 19 June 2013 06:16 UTC
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I agree that zoos have a place where they can help endangered species and research. However, as a child when taken to Edinburgh zoo it made me feel really bad that we were keeping these animals in cages and not free in their natural habitat and climate. Ironically many years later I stayed every week in the hotel next door to wake up to the sounds of elephants....
If I want to see wild animals I go to where they live, safari or scuba divines for me. If I can't afford it I watch the fantastic nature program's available in HD.
And as for poachers.....same view as Bill
I did love the Safari Android comment
Zoos are a very mixed bunch the best are a scientific resource with the capacity to limit the unnecessary damage caused by Homo Sapiens. At worst they are filthy cruel dumps which shouldn't be there.
As one who has enjoyed travel and observation in game reserves I don't think there's any valid comparison between the two, but reserves are difficult to manage and so the impact of Homo sapiens as illegal hunter arguably needs the insurance that good zoos can deliver. Most management regimes can balance the legal demands of Homo sapiens and other major species reasonably successfully.
The idea that there's any pristine wilderness left is a fantasy, there's barely a square inch of planet earth not being impacted by Homo sapiens. We've already eliminated a number of unsuccessful species and the demise of species is a normal part of evolution, so trying to hang on to every one is just daft in my view.
Extremely grumpy PPL/IR
In an ideal society we would not have zoos but we do not live in an ideal society so we make the best of what we have. Captive bred animals would ideally be trained and returned to their natural habitat but so often these animals natural habitat has disappeared and some captive bred animals simply cannot be trained to return and would become instant prey or die from starvation.
If you take Monkey World where my friend works it was created to rescue animals from dreadful situations particularly Chimpanzees used as props for photography or TV, they give their female chimps birth control so they can keep room for any more chimps that need rescuing. However they are THE nursery for Orangutans in the Captive breeding programme so they actively encourage Orangs to breed. They also rescued over 90 primates from Chile which had been used for animal testing. They can only do this role if they have a public face and people pay to visit. They do however do what they can to ensure the animals have a quality of life and if you have visited you will know this.
I hate the idea of caged animals but sometimes it is the lesser of 2 evils.
Dream as if you'll live forever, Live as if you'll die today.
Agreed, John. Extinction is part of the circle of evolution/life, and if a species can't adapt then it dies. A very simple rule, and one that's been part of life for as long as there's been life.
However, the fact is that where mankind is involved in the cause of extinction, the inability to adapt doesn't come into it because it all happens too fast for natural defences to evolve. The list of species which are/will be extinct solely due to the influence of man makes truly depressing reading. Overhunting/habitat destruction/introduction of non-native species (cats and rats etc) - there are numerous reasons for the demise of species which have simply not had the chance to respond. Most of this has happened in the last 200 years, which is less than the blink of an eye in evolutionary terms.
Trying to hang on to every species is indeed daft. But giving those who are on the brink purely because, say, we think they taste good in soups, is very far from daft and something we as a species need to address as a matter of conscience, decency and duty.
I choke back tears when I see the biggest horror of all - the use of noble big cats and elephants, serreptitiously beaten into submission to please the circus crowd.
Antagonise no man, for you never know the hour when you may have need of him.
It may not be a loaded question, Mono, but it's certainly an interesting and complex one.
On the one hand, the giant panda has physically evolved over a long period to scoff bamboo. It's still essentially a bear and will eat meat, but it's become totally dependent now upon bamboo. Habitat loss has restricted the availability of this primary food source and consequently its numbers in the wild have declined. Since man is responsible for its predicament I would say yes, we have a responsibility to look out for it.
On the other hand, is captive breeding the answer in this case? After all, there's absolutely no point in doing the Noah's Ark thing if the habitat is not being conserved and there will be nowhere in which to release them. So lobbing bales of bamboo and copies of Teddy Does Dallas at them over the zoo bars is almost certainly not the answer.
Since there is still a small but viable wild population I would personally agree with your 'fade away' scenario and leave them to their own devices provided we conserve and preserve an area of bamboo forest within which this population can live or fade away (or adapt and expand into other areas) in their own time.
The whole issue of wildlife conservation is a complex one, requiring a sea change in our thinking as a species which is unlikely to happen soon enough halt, let alone reverse, the effect we're having. There are too many of us putting an increasing pressure on the whole ecosystem for that, sadly.
I went on safari (Kenya) at the age of six and then went on a school trip to a zoo a couple of years later. I absolutely hated it. Another year or so later I boarded a coach for a mystery trip and was then informed that we were setting of for the zoo... Not me, I got off and went home.
Poachers... Set them loose on Sennybridge ranges when the boys from Hereford are training, see how long they last
What upsets me the most is seeing the suffering of zoo animals in a war torn city in the aftermath of air raids or similar destruction.
Not an IFA, but I can show you some clever stuff with pensions and investments.
Engurlish levul 6 profishent
By Gor, I've not read his books since schooldays, but I do remember being enthralled by them at the time.
Durrell, like Attenborough, began his professional life in a manner he would later come to question, but which was acceptable at the time. I'd say that on the whole he and his legacy have it about right with regards conservation: that is, the species and its habitat carry equal weight. One without the other is pointless.
We've all been to zoos. We've seen how large is an elephant at 10 feet. We've smelled the musk and seen the grace and power of a big cat.
Can that be conveyed by an HD tv with surround sound any better than a flight sim conveys actually flying a light aircraft?. Zoos have a place I believe in educating each generation.
Jim, forgive me, that is a schyte analogy. A zoo is more analogous to watching aircraft take off and land from the viewing area, nothing like actually flying or the experience of animals in their natural habitat.
I've taken my grandchildren to Zoos and they loved it.
The economic situation is not going to allow their parents (or me) to take them on safari anytime soon.
I'm sure having seen hippos, lions elephants and monkeys as well as shed loads of meerkats was an enriching experience for them: They are far too young to get sniffy, snobby and animal welfare uptight about it all.
Better than a book or an HD video .
Primum non nocere..
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