Thursday, 20 March 2014

Zoos

After reading a recent post by Optimistic Existentialist at Musings of An Unapologetic Dreamer about zoos, I thought I would share my own thoughts. I need material folks. Zoos are, especially now more than ever, quite the hot controversial topic. There are people who feel that they just imprison animals that should be free, and there are people who view them as entertainment. I personally find that they fill out some very valuable roles.

To be honest I don't think I've ever visited what you would call an actual zoo. I don't even know where my nearest one is. I have however visited a marine sanctuary. They primarily focus on seals but they also have plenty of other things there including butterflies, a reptile house, a petting zoo and even penguins. God I love baby seals. Anyway, they are, in a word; awesome. They save seals and they encourage them to breed naturally. I asked them if they have breeding programs and they told me they did not. Seems there's a pregnant seal there almost every time I go though, and new pups that were born in the sanctuary. When they get old enough they get released to the wild. Same with the sick ones they rescue; they're healed and sent back into the wild. They even have a few frequent fliers that they've rescued on numerous occasions. I think we can all agree that animal sancturies do an amazing job. They rescue animals, help protect them, and they're regarded as good guys. Or at least I think about them that way.

Zoos on the other hand get a lot of stigma. Mostly because they are really just seen as entertainment. They have a lot of animals that are also perfectly healthy and very far away from their natural habitat. But zoos do go a long way towards helping the animals feel at home. They also have a lot of breeding programs and take care of a lot of endangered animals. One way to encourage people to care is to show them the animal in need. The main reason people care so damn much about pandas is that they're everywhere. Heck a Scottish zoo even bred some pandas. Zoos fill some necessary roles and, yes, they do make money, but those kinds of things are expensive to run. I can't say I blame them. The seal sanctuary I go to is really small but everything there is so expensive because of how much it costs to run the place.

If a zoo actually buys an animal from the black market, or poaches an animal themselves, then by all means regard them as evil. But try to see the good in them too. Because there is some there.

11 comments:

  1. Zoos are such a mixed bag, as you point out. I feel so conflicted. But they do help with the breeding of a lot of endangered species.

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    1. And for that, I thank them. There are way too many endangered animals out there, and definitely far too many extinct ones. I long for the days we had wolves in England.

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  2. i hear you....i think in my comment over there had to do with the eagle aviary near where i lived....where they rehabbed eagles and set them free...some never made it...but they were provided for....i am a mixed bag myself about zoos...

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    1. I think I'd quite enjoy visiting an aviary. The seal sanctuary had a few birds. Even had meerkats Zoos seem to do the same thing, but on a larger scale and for more profit. I think it's the word "profit" that really riles people up.

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  3. Scottish pandas? Now I have seen everything.

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    1. The crazy thing is that I think they gave them Chinese names, and not Scottish ones.

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  4. I like the local zoo here. It's huge, it's very well kept, and all of the animals seem extremely happy. People are always touchy when it comes to animals, but sometimes they pick the wrong battles. Especially PETA. I'm pretty sure those people don't even condone looking at an animal without its consent (God forbid!).

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    1. I petted my cat without it's consent, I think I raped it. In all seriousness though, PETA are just messed up. I love animals, and hate those guys.

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  5. I like zoos and believe they do more good than bad.

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  6. I think zoos have come a long way since I was a boy. For one thing, more species have evolved (I used an "old guy" joke before anyone else had a chance to use it!).

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  7. I agree with you - They also put a lot of effort into educating the public about the animals and the dangers they face. And the people who look after the zoos genuinely love animals.

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