pacman inkee

Writer's Block: Into the wild

If you could, would you set a zoo animal free? Which one and why?


this question basically infuriates me. allow me to inform you based on all our time working at the zoo:

most (not all but most) animals you see in captivity at the zoo are there for one of two reasons: vital breeding program, or sustained injuries that make it impossible for it to compete in the wild against other members of its species (or any other species). broken collarbone that never healed right, cracked flight bone, just because people can't see it doesn't mean the animal is perfectly healthy and ready to go hunt it up in the wild or whatever. thanks to the migratory bird act (which actually covers all birds (except house sparrows, and pigeons lol), whether they migrate or not, migratory in this case only refers to the fact that birds move around even within their area) the marine mammal act, and the exotic species act, they pretty much ensure that every single animal at every single zoo has an extensive paper trail detailing where it was removed from the wild and how (and reasons) or how it was otherwise acquired. people need to quit picking on zoos and go pick on shit like uncle jimbo's illegal exotic animal jamboree. most animals you see from zoos these days are placed there from other zoo's breeding stock. ie the reason the sf zoo has no elephants anymore is because no zoos have bred new elephants with the intent to place them in the sf zoo and no elephants have been removed from private captivity in california recently. if it were still the days of walking into a jungle and willy-nilly grabbing whatever animals your zoo lacked, we would have had new elephants 7yr ago when our last elephant died. (don't even get me started on replacing tatiana RIP FOREVER!). one of the most annoying things people say at the zoo is "you should let that ___ go" because pretty much fully 90% of the time if you let that animal go in the wild it would immediately fall prey, often to one of it's own species if it is a hunting animal. you wanna know the wildest, most ability to survive outside the zoo animals there are at any zoo? the fucking squirrels. and not the ones in cages. we need animals to breed (to repair the damage humanity has already done to them) and animals to learn from (for biologists and zoologists to figure out which mistakes not to repeat for one). if you REALLY want to help animals and repair animal habitats, burn down your house and let nature reclaim where ever you live.

eta: this absolutely isn't directed at other kinds of animal chitchat or activism. only to people who want to free all the fluffy animals from the zoo. people need to think about the shit they are spouting off because not thinking is what got us into this whole "endangered species every which way" scenario in the first place. or to use another analogy, don't be a PETA and end up killing all of the thousands of animals you wanted to save.
if you REALLY want to help animals and repair animal habitats, burn down your house and let nature reclaim where ever you live.

Love it.
I think my neighbors have taken that sentiment to heart. It makes everyone else on our street really love them and the home's new tenants: a darling skunk family. YAY, NATURE.
ahahah skunks are the funniest. do you have the baby ones that trail along after the parents? they are too cute. the funny thing about skunks is that once they train all the animals in the area (via squirting) you really don't have many other problems with them if you secure your livestock, trashcans, and keep them from getting in (and nesting in) your lower levels. we have a billion skunks here, but it's the war with the raccoons that is the big issue constantly. the skunks can actually act as a buffer with the raccoons sometimes because the raccoons won't cross over until the skunks are finished hunting. raccoons tho, man those jerks have HANDS. unfair.
God, I need to move
Oh, raccoons were the worst at my parents' house. Always with the garbage. My dad had to build an anti-raccoon trash contraption because they defeated bungee cords.

I am mostly annoyed with the skunk family (yes, Mama Skunk and little trailing baby skunks, as cute as they are) because I live in town. My yard isn't even big enough for a tree. It is not a good place for skunks and humans to live together peacefully.

Everyone who lives here is well-trained to stay away from that property and always be on skunk-alert because we know there are there. Unfortunately, the town is right between the Turnpike and train tracks, so we get a lot of transient people who do not know about the skunks and are forever getting sprayed in the summer. When I smoked, I would sit out on my porch and regularly warn people passing by at night to cross the street RIGHT NOW, don't try to stay in that seemingly abandoned house, because it is definitely occupied. They probably thought I just didn't want them hanging around, because they never believed me until it was too late.
OMG CAN YOU TELL IM MAD! hehe!! i just hear this misguided bullshit all the time at the zoo and it basically reinforces my desire to cage all humans.
AMEN!

I did a day program at Sea World a few years back and when the right opportunity arose I asked about their release program as I honestly wanted to know (and really wanted my belief's validated). I was told that they and every other organization like them are closely monitored by the government. If an animal is deemed releasable, as in it can hunt and catch it's own food, then they are to release it as soon as they can safely do so. Any and all rescues are treated as releasable until it is determined otherwise.

Also Jack Hannah once said something that really hit home with me in regards to animals in zoos and such. He referred to zoos and parks as Educational Parks and said where else are people of all walks of life going to go to see certain animals? When they see these animals they fall in love with them and want to learn more about them, then from there they move on to wanting to protect said animal in the wild. That desire needs to start somewhere - and it doesn't usually come from the television.

Ugh and don't get me started to Keiko. **sigh**

Ok shutting up now.
WORD TO THIS(and yay Columbus Zoo represent!). my husband thinks zoos are boring, and i'm like - you just paid 10 dollars to seee fucking cheetahs and giraffes and elephants and etc IN PERSON. When and where else do people get opportunities like that?
uncle jimbo's illegal exotic animal jamboree

ahhahahahahh
Ok, I fully admit I'm trolling the answers to this question, heh.

Anyway - PREACH IT, whoever you are! :D

I was a zookeeper for a long time and questions like this make me see flames, too. I love your response.
two of my kids work as baby zoologists at our local zoo so i know first hand about the stupid shit that some people say. keep up the good work man, zookeeper is a LOT harder of a job than people think, if only for the rampant outbreaks of stupid on behalf of park guests.
Um, I love you so much. I really, really do. This post makes me so happy because I hear that "omg zoos are so bad, omg release all the animals! YAY PETA" a lot and it's just..what? Do you not understand? There are definitely places with issues, like you said, Uncle Bob's whatever road side crap shack, but most legit zoos are not there to steal animals from the wild and treat them like shit. I'm in Toronto, and our zoo is moving all the elephants because they're not thriving in our climate and their enclosure is not good enough for them. Elephants are a huge draw, so that says something to me. I don't know the entire story, but hopefully they'll go somewhere that works better for them.

I was at Sea World in Florida a couple years ago (and we were judged HEAVILY for going there at all so I was uncomfortable at first), but when we were in the Manatee area one of the workers came up to us and started talking about their rehab program. There was a Manatee there that had two flippers cut off from a boating accident and she overheard us wondering what had happened to it. I hadn't even realized they had rehab programs there.

Ok, shutting up now. Basically, I like your post and you too.
4real + I totally want to be a baby zoologist.
While I have no doubt that this is the case in the USA. You can bet that many countries don't care where the animals come from. *cough*chinaimlookingatyou*cough*
Wait, you mean there are people out there who actually think it's a good idea to release animals either raised in a controlled environment, or ones that have been kept in such an environment for a while? That's like telling your dog "Listen, dog, you're kind of a wimp. You need to go out there into the woods and get back to your wolf-like origins." And then your dog dies.
PETA pisses me off so fucking bad. I can hardly think about them without going into a fucking rage.
brb, burning down the neighbors house and blaming you

srsly tho ia 100%