Saturday, 4 March 2017

Zoo Holocaust?


I must admit to having a somewhat ambivalent attitude to zoos. I certainly prefer to look at organisms (plants and fungi as well as animals) in their natural worlds. Having said that, well run zoos with lots of environmental enrichment do boost enthusiasm (and support?) for animals in a way that TV programmes cannot do; do enable people to experience some impressive beasts without incurring an enormous carbon footprint and sometimes do good work with captive breeding programmes to maintain endangered species (although these are not always very successful). Reports, however, that a Cumbrian zoo had almost 500 mortalities in its 1500 animal stock over a 4 year period are deeply concerning (www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cumbria-zoo-lose-licence-south-lakes-safari-486-animals-die-four-years-tiget-mauls-keeper-death-2014-97605761.html). This is especially so in an establishment that had a keeper mauled to death by a tiger because of reportedly faulty working practices. I am unsurprised that their licence to operate is being reconsidered.

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