Tag Archives: northern white rhinoceros

Should we not release our dogs and cats back into the wild?

Opinion

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I freely admit that I support zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, and even SeaWorld to the max, 100%.

I even support circuses when it is done right, and I’ll define “done right” as using positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement.

To me, it’s pretty obvious when animals in our care have been trained with positive reinforcement.

It’s no different from you teaching a dog to roll over, sit, play dead, shake.

It’s done with treats, not whippings.

Perhaps that’s why I don’t like horse racing. I have been to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Races twice with a Photographer All Access pass. A total of twenty hours on two different occasions two years apart. I have yet to see anyone give a horse a treat. Rather, they prod them, poke them, whip them…….. Why are people not protesting that instead of SeaWorld? I don’t understand.

Do animals in our loving care remember those who care for them? I submit that they do:

Here’s another one:

Did zoos, aquariums, SeaWorld, and circuses abuse animals in the past? I believe they did. I believe taking animals out of the wild can, in many circumstances, be considered abuse.

However, I would rather have some of these animals in Zoos to save them than in the wild where they get slaughtered by poachers:

100,000 elephants killed by poachers in 3 years

I would also submit that in today’s world, if you were able to ask these animals if they would prefer to be in the wild struggling to find food each day, fighting for their lives each day…. or in a zoo or aquarium where they get love, attention, food, and medical care…. I believe I know the answer.

Without the leadership of the San Diego Zoo in getting other zoos and sanctuaries to sign on to its California Condor Conservation program, the California Condor would now be extinct. It actually was extinct in the wild as recently as 1987. Through the successful breeding programs of the San Diego and Los Angeles zoos, the California Condor was re-introduced to the wild beginning in 1991 in southern Utah, northern Arizona, central and southern California, and northern Baja California, Mexico. Here are a few of the California Condors at the San Diego Zoo:

Andean condor at the San Diego Zoo

California Condor at the San Diego Zoo

California Condor at the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has a northern white rhino as a resident. Northern white rhinos are functionally extinct, which means that the seven rhinos that exist in zoos throughout the world are beyond breeding age and that none exist in the wild. When these seven remaining rhinos die, there will be no more unless we can figure out cloning.

Northern white rhinoceros at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

Many times each year the Zoo and Safari Park announce the arrival of big babies: orangutans, elephants, giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, and gorillas. If not for the Zoo, I would never have had the opportunity to see orangutans, elephants, giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, and gorillas. And my annual membership supports the Zoo’s conservation and breeding programs, to ensure that the California Condor continues to exist in the wild.

The Zoo also re-introduces wildlife to other parts of the world when possible. Unfortunately, people in other countries don’t have the economy that we have in the United States, so they don’t mind slaughtering animals for food and other products.

I try to go once a week to SeaWorld, the Zoo, and Safari Park because one never knows what’s going on each week and which animals will be photogenic for me.

Without Zoos, many millions of people, including me, would never have had the opportunity to see these beautiful creatures:

Mom and baby gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sumatran tiger at Tiger Trail at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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Himalayan Monal at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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Burmese Python at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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Black mangabey at the San Diego Zoo

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Camel at the San Diego Zoo

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Giraffe at the San Diego Zoo

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Elephant at the San Diego Zoo

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Giant Panda at the San Diego Zoo May 2013

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Male lion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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Mama koala and her joey at the San Diego Zoo

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Forest buffalo at the San Diego Zoo

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Caracal at the San Diego Zoo

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Desert bighorn sheep at the San Diego Zoo

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Johnston's crocodiles at the San Diego Zoo

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Fishing cat at the San Diego Zoo

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Zebra at the San Diego Zoo

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Secretary Bird at the San Diego Zoo

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Cheetah at the San Diego Zoo

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Polar Bear at the San Diego Zoo

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Knobbed Hornbill at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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Meerkat at the San Diego Zoo

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Red kangaroo at the San Diego Zoo

(Got the kangaroo in there for you, Laurie!)

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Flamingos at the San Diego Zoo

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Although I can cite no research to support me, I firmly believe that people who have visited a zoo, sanctuary, or aquarium are more likely to contribute to conservation efforts to save these beautiful creatures from extinction in the wild.

For those who want to release all of these creatures back into the wild, that cannot be done with many of them because they are injured and would not be able to survive. The two bald eagles at Safari Park come to mind, both injured in the wild and rescued, and both unable to fly.

Bald eagles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If we take this to its logical conclusion, then all dogs and cats should be released back into the wild. After all, both species adapt quite quickly to life in the wild, so why are we keeping them penned up in our homes and teaching them tricks? For our entertainment, pleasure, and companionship….

Spoiled dog

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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SNIPPETS (6-18-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

My friends who have known me throughout my business career sometimes call me the “Five-Year Man” because it’s rare for me to do anything for more than five years even though the five-year spans sometimes overlap.

13 reasons why you're not successfulOne of the business careers that I had for five years was as a marketing consultant, and I still really like marketing, helping people and companies find an audience for their products and services.

A few days ago I found a cool graphic that very directly explains why people are not as successful as they could be. The graphic had been around the world before I found it, but I tracked it down to Jim Kukral, a marketing expert whom I really identify with. Check him out at JimKukral.com, and see his graphic, “13 Reasons You’re Not As Successful As You Should Be.” I used a mini version of his graphic for beautification purposes here. It’s unreadable, so see the graphic at his web site which can be enlarged to be very readable.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008.

A few days later, 7,001,084 voters (52.24%) of 13,402,566 valid votes cast, representing 35,000,000 Californians, decided via Proposition 8 that gay people should not be able to get married in California.

In May 2009, the California Supreme Court ruled that gay marriages which had occurred legally (such as mine!) would remain legal. In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court basically ruled (in a legal way) that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, and gay marriages resumed.

It’s only a matter of time before gay people throughout the United States will be able to marry the person they love, as indicated by this MSNBC graphic from a few days ago:

Gay marriage is coming!

I find it interesting (NOT!) that the sky has not fallen, the ground has not opened up and swallowed mankind, and the sun still rises in the east and sets in the west.

Sunrise on Mt. Helix in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

A few days ago, when I went to the Bird Song gardens (Leave room in your garden for the fairies to dance), I had to pass through the area burned a month ago in what is called the Cocos Fire.

After 21 years in San Diego, I still find it odd that we name fires, but I grew up in Texas where named hurricanes often visited us. But why no named blizzards, floods, or tornadoes?

Here is a picture showing how close the fire came:

Close Call

Throughout the area, you can see scorched earth with untouched homes sitting in its midst. In the October 2003 fires, these homes probably would have burned. But after both the October 2003 and October 2007 fires, San Diego County has a rural defense law that requires defensible space around rural homes. That defensible space has been credited with saving many homes in the May 2014 fires. Of course, our firefighters get some credit, too.

Thank you EFF fire fighters

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

When I arrived in San Diego in April 1993, the local paper announced that there was not a single natural river remaining in the Los Angeles County north of us. All of them had been converted into concrete channels, similar to this one:

Southern California river

We now know that, during what little rainfall we get here, concrete channels exacerbate the flooding by allowing rainwater to move at a much faster rate, so when it does overflow those channels, it does a lot of damage.

San Diego was in the process of converting all of its rivers to concrete channels when peer-reviewed research reached the public confirming what many of us already knew. San Diego quit converting its rivers to concrete channels, and many of those throughout Southern California now look like that in the picture above, being allowed to revert to their natural form.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #5

While I was taking pictures of the concrete river, I saw two mallard ducks enjoying the stagnant water, which seems to indicate that stagnant water isn’t all that bad. Bottoms up!

Bottoms up

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

The San Diego County fair, purported to be the fifth largest in North America, is well under way, opening on Saturday, June 7. Last day is Sunday, July 5. Trust me. Go now. Don’t wait until the last weekend.

The Fair is closed on Mondays, as well as the first two Tuesdays of its run. Doesn’t make sense to me, which I guess is why I don’t run the Fair.

A couple of days ago, knowing that the Fair was closed, I went to get some pictures, also knowing that there would be parking places and that I wouldn’t get run over by traffic. Following are my two favorite pictures. Those who know me will not be surprised that there are trains in both of them.

Amtrak at the San Diego County Fair

Coaster at the San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #7

I’m proud to say that Jim Frimmer, Janelle DeStefano, and Joanne Regenhardt got a standing ovation from the 82 attendees at their performance this past Sunday at the new Central Library in downtown San Diego. I’m the official page turner………perhaps they were standing for me?

Jim Frimmer, Janelle DeStefano, and Joanne Regenhardt

Next performance at the Central Library is Sunday, June 29, followed by a final performance on Sunday, July 13. Both performances begin at 2:30 p.m. and are free!

New San Diego Central Library on March 23, 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #8

Time magazine’s issue of June 18, 1956, reported on three cities which had banned “rock-and-roll and other forms of frenzied music.” Those three cities were Santa Cruz, California; Asbury Park, New Jersey; and San Antonio, Texas. Santa Cruz and Asbury Park are now rock and roll havens. Such auspicious beginnings.

A few rock and roll music personalities who lived in Santa Cruz:

Cornelius Bumpus—saxophonist for the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan

Derek Sherinian—keyboardist for Alice Cooper, KISS, and Dream Theater

Scott Weiland—vocalist for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver

Here is “Thank You Love” from The Doobie Brothers’ “One Step Closer” album issued in 1980. Cornelius Bumpus is the composer.

The University of California at Santa Cruz has a lot of rock and roll musicians as alumni, and the City of Santa Cruz itself now is a center of rock and roll bands calling California home, most of them in the genres of death metal, deathcore, and punk.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #9

My wise old grandmother taught me to add laughter to each day. Courtesy of our fine, furry, four-legged friends (cats), here’s enough laughter to last today, tomorrow, and perhaps the rest of the month:

Laughter for today

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #10

One of the great things about aquariums and zoos is that you get to see wildlife that you would never see in the wild. Here is a picture of a northern white rhinoceros living at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park:

Northern white rhinoceros at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

Not only will you not see the northern white rhinoceros in the wild, but it’s highly unlikely that you will see it at a zoo, either. According to the San Diego Zoo, the northern white rhinoceros is “functionally extinct,” meaning that it is extinct in the wild and no breeding populations exist anywhere else.

In fact, there are only seven of these magnificent creatures left in the world, two here at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park, and five at other zoos. When these seven individuals die, there will be no more. Probably in YOUR lifetime! Poaching and habitat destruction. How sad. 😦

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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