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  1. #1
    @hibs.net proletariat member Pete's Avatar
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    Zoos. Cruel or kind?

    Shocking to hear about that zookeeper who got mauled by a tiger but should the tiger had been there in the first place?
    It might seem like they have an element of freedom but apparently a tigers territory can be anywhere up to 1500sq miles and they are under huge stress.

    I'm no animal psychologist but the last time I went to the zoo and saw a tiger I thought that it looked crazy. It was just pacing about repetitively in front of the viewing glass in a world of its own.

    On the other hand, Everyone who is involved with zoos loves animals and they are big on conservation. How many species would be extinct if it weren't for them?

    Are they just a needless hangover from the Victorian era where they didn't have the internet to show people what giraffes looked like?


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  3. #2
    @hibs.net private member easty's Avatar
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    Zoo's, cruel or kind? Isn't really the right question in my opinion.

    You can have wonderful zoos, Chester for example, where the animals look like they have a great habitat, and the customers can go along and get a brilliant view, and look, of them. The conservation work they do, and the information they provide to the people who go there is invaluable.

    On the flip side, there are some pretty terrible zoos, which shouldn't exist. Also, there are individual habitats, within "good" zoos, that just don't look good enough. I was glad to see that Edinburgh Zoo redeveloped the tiger enclosure, as I always thought that was far too small. The same with the polar bear bit, I'm glad they don't have any in there anymore.

    Looking online, or seeing them on an Attenborough documentary, just isn't the same as seeing them in real life, up close. As long as the enclosure, and the conditions, are good, then zoos are a good thing, in my opinion.

  4. #3
    There are good zoos and bad zoos. That's a simple answer but it's pretty accurate.

    They also play their part in conservation. Of course the only real solution to ending extinction and endangerment is stopping humans seemingly insatiable apetite for destruction of habitat but that's another debate.
    I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women,. Suddenly, uncritically giving no thought to the pain it could bring. - Nick Hornby

  5. #4
    Gentleman of Leisure Doddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by easty View Post
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    Zoo's, cruel or kind? Isn't really the right question in my opinion.

    You can have wonderful zoos, Chester for example, where the animals look like they have a great habitat, and the customers can go along and get a brilliant view, and look, of them. The conservation work they do, and the information they provide to the people who go there is invaluable.

    On the flip side, there are some pretty terrible zoos, which shouldn't exist. Also, there are individual habitats, within "good" zoos, that just don't look good enough. I was glad to see that Edinburgh Zoo redeveloped the tiger enclosure, as I always thought that was far too small. The same with the polar bear bit, I'm glad they don't have any in there anymore.

    Looking online, or seeing them on an Attenborough documentary, just isn't the same as seeing them in real life, up close. As long as the enclosure, and the conditions, are good, then zoos are a good thing, in my opinion.

    There are animals in zoos because to release them into the wild is no longer possible - they've become too habituated to human contact.

    The alternatives facing those animals are usually either some form of zoo-life, or being humanely "put down" - killed, in other words. Good zoos look after these animals well, I think, and allow us to see them and appreciate them as they are - and hopefully motivate at least some of us to contribute or even take part in the work of true conservation - restoring wild animals to the wild.

    I remember going to Edinburgh Zoo as a child, on a raw wet Scottish "summer" day, and seeing a wildebeest, ONE wildebeest standing in a muddy enclosure looking as miserable and lonely as any animal could look. That was in the 1950's. Even as a wee boy of 7 or 8 I knew that this was WRONG. Wildebeest live on the plains of equatorial Africa, in vast herds sometimes numbering hundreds of thousands, sometimes over a million animals. That was animal cruelty of a high (or low?) order - of this I am sure.

    I don't think Edinburgh would do that sort of thing today, but I really don't like any establishment that keeps animals in an unnatural environment, or keeps gregarious animals in solitary confinement as many "Seaworld" places do with whales and other cetaceans, for example. Especially when those establishments often "train" the creatures to do "party tricks" for the entertainment of mindless and ignorant audiences who have no understanding or concern for the distress such confinement and training causes the creatures. It's just "OOOOH!" and "AAAAH!" and "Let's go for an ice cream and then we'll see the funny killer whale doing loop-the-loops ..."

    It's not just zoos.


    "Once one accepts that one has bear-hugged full-blown barking there is great comfort in the bright lights and noises of the wibble-wibble show ..."

  6. #5
    Coaching Staff steakbake's Avatar
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    I think there's certain animals that can handle captivity because their natural habitat range isn't that extensive. Best zoo I went to is a monkey park in the Netherlands. Based on the animals' habitat range, there's no bars and enclosures and they roam freely. It has a strong research aim towards conservation in the wild. It was a great ethos. Is it foolproof? Maybe, I don't know enough about those things.

    Flip side are the water parks and performing orcas and seals, or as said, those magnificent beasts like tigers and lions hemmed in and pacing around. I'm less convinced about the protective value of those but RZSS does do some incredible work around the world.

  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member snooky's Avatar
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    If you was a wildebeest called Agnes and you had the choice of either
    1) living in a place where you get fed regularly, generally well cared for and felt safe but with no holiday excursions
    or
    2) living in a place where there loads of things out there waiting to kill you .... what would be your choice?

    A zoo or Glasgow?
    Last edited by snooky; 30-05-2017 at 08:08 PM.

  8. #7
    Testimonial Due Colr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snooky View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    If you was a wildebeest called Agnes and you had the choice of either
    1) living in a place where you get fed regularly, generally well cared for and felt safe but with no holiday excursions
    or
    2) living in a place where there loads of things out there waiting to kill you .... what would be your choice?

    A zoo or Glasgow?
    Is Agnes Catholic, then?

  9. #8
    @hibs.net private member snooky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colr View Post
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    Is Agnes Catholic, then?
    He disny say ....
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QilRAJV8d74

    (Btw, the lioness's name is Agnes - my mistake)
    Last edited by snooky; 30-05-2017 at 09:05 PM.

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