I set Zoey the Cool Cat free
A comment to my post yesterday (Gimme some tongue, Baby!) asked, “What’s a good answer to people when they say they don’t go to zoos because they feel the animals are ‘trapped.’ ”
There are many answers, but as my wise old grandmother taught me, “Sometimes a question must be answered with a question.”
You see, all of those animals come from the wild. Perhaps we should release them all back into the wild? That would be cruel. Many of them would not survive because they either don’t know how to hunt or they are not able to hunt.
As an example, Safari Park has two bald eagles. Both were rescued as injured young. Although they have been rehabilitated, their injuries prevent them from soaring through the skies. Thus they could not hunt like eagles hunt. They would simply be meals for other animals. That’s okay because survival of the fittest is part of life. It’s called the food chain.
However, the two eagles are male and female, and since they are young, in a protected environment like the Safari Park, they can mate and have young, young that can then be released into the wild to help the species survive.
Seeing these two eagles close up gives me hope that others who see them might take action to be better caretakers of the Earth. As long as the human race continues to ignore condoms and pills, continues to overpopulate the Earth, wildlife habitats will continue to be destroyed.
Elephants in the wild are killed for their ivory, which is believed by ignorant people to be an aphrodisiac or a medicine. Elephant habitats are being destroyed, thousands of acres a day, in the name of progress. We can’t really blame the Third World countries for wanting everything that we have here in the United States. Who are we, then, to tell them that they can’t clear their lands to build homes and farms, even if it’s at the expense of wildlife?
The Giant Panda would probably be extinct by now without the intervention of China panda sanctuaries and the San Diego Zoo, a world leader in panda research. The Gray Wolf, once prevalent throughout the world, is now extinct in many countries, such as Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland.
We need Zoos simply because we can’t control what happens in other countries. Heck, in many instances we can’t even control what happens in our own. Do I need to talk about the California Condor? Or the American Bison? The Eastern Cougar (extinct as of 2011)? The Arizona Jaguar (extinct as of 1905).
Some animal species only exist in Zoos, such as the northern white rhinoceros. At the pace that global warming is occurring, polar bears might exist only in zoos sometime within YOUR lifetime.
Perhaps a young child visiting the Zoo, seeing a northern white rhinoceros, and reading the exhibit plate about its demise in the wild will be inspired and grow up to be the next Bob Marshall, or Dian Fossey, or John Muir, or Henry David Thoreau, or Jacques Cousteau, or Rachel Carson, or Steve Irwin, or Theodore Roosevelt (see List of Conservationsts).
Each time I go to the Zoo, Safari Park, or SeaWorld, and see the excitement on the faces of not only children but adults, too, I know that there is a place for zoos and aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries (I also belong to two wildlife sanctuaries here).
For a far better explanation than what I can offer here — and why re-invent the wheel? — see “Why have zoos?”, written by a woman who has been a member of the San Diego Zoo since she was three years old.
By the way, I opened the front door to set Zoey the Cool Cat free. I set her at the front door but before I could get a picture of her exiting the house to freedom, she turned around and scampered back to her favorite morning spot:
Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572
If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray (that’s me!)