Zoos, Circuses, Safaris, Sea Worlds, and Aquariums

While I was driving into Atlanta this morning, I saw a sign for the Georgia Aquarium. It got me thinking about my experiences at places like zoos where animals are viewed by a myriad of people across lines of race, gender, age, and more.

I am torn because some of these places help to educate people about wildlife. If there was no Sea World, many would not be able to see dolphins up close. On the other hand, animals are abused in some settings.

From an environmental perspective and even a personal one, what do you think of creatures, great and small, in zoos, circuses, safaris, sea worlds, and aquariums?

Beluga Whale

3 responses

  1. I’m mixed too. But I lean more for AZA (and similar international certifications) approved facilities and strongly against ones that are not certified. The certifications are overseen by a board of academics, scientists, and and welfare professionals. Today’s modern zoos are strikingly different in attitude, policy, and presentation than they were 25 years ago and especially 100 yrs ago. There is less of a need/demand to get every exotic animal represented. And with scientists now on staff, the research is applied and devoted to species conservation in the wild – not just in zoos.

    Plus, the informal science education experiences can be a foundation for an interested child, especially under-served children like amy African-American children are.

    I blogged about a family visit to the zoo not long ago, too. (We seem to be interested in the same things and have similar timing, too.) http://urban-science.blogspot.com/2009/12/over-thanksgiving-break-i-took-my-niece.html

  2. To see any life in a place that displays them to be observed rather than just left to be with their own kind in the wild, only tells me of getting people used to the idea of studying and controlling life.

    I have heard much about the excuses for zoos, facilities, whatever you call them to observe animals, heard all the excuses that they are there for saving from extinction, hunting/poaching, getting the numbers back up.
    Even as a child back then I went to zoos and sorts of aquariums, I thought “Whoo look at those” but now I regret not seeing and knowing what I do now.

    It only sustains the same problem: Man starts hunting animals, man believes he is a hunter gatherer, cultures create and expand this in many ways.

    The zoos, safaris, etc. defends some of man’s destructive concepts by creating a house to store some animals, they say they will raise the animals that survived a shooting, they say they are here because if they go back into the wild they will be killed, they say they are con-serving these animals (which completely points out why its all a farce, does not face the problem).

    But on a more sinister level this turns out to be a business, a joint business with the so called science of animals, a false science that makes out we need to know the everyday lives of nonhuman animals. This as well as the vivisection lobbies or “animal research” making claims we need animals to find cures, treatments, whatever nonsensical anti history or fiction they come up with just to stay in business.
    Then there are the con-servationist groups, those that are actually in league with pro hunting groups, that use these welfare groups just to raise the numbers again until the next shooting.

    On the thought of wondering how animals live why should we have to learn about species that are not our own? Just leave them alone.
    An excuse could be because of all the hunting, poaching, deforrestation. The earlier excuses are (probably still are) that animals are not quite alive as humans are. Science proves otherwise regardless of what people did to them.

    What about the lands people call their country? They once belonged to no one but the life that existed on them. Then man destroys it, terror forming it with concrete and structures, architecture.
    People complain about trees, animals, even their own human kind. But no one bothers or can be able to stop it.

    And also that any species that is raised or lives in man made confinment or whatever recreated by man wild surroundings is artifical, domesticated life.
    And some life, such as the ape species, end up imitating man, acting or copying like he does. I would call this cross contamination of species.

    There probably are some good intentioned people that work in the animal welfare industry, but they are just kidding themselves and in a form of denial thinking they are making a difference. Its a business based on denial and lack of responsibility on everyone’s part that is so vast people soon shy away from it.

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