It was horrific when zoo officials shot down Harembe, the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. When a three-year-old climbed into the enclosure of a gorilla on May 28, 2016. It took hold of the boy as every watched with horror and amazement.
In plain site, the zoo officials shot the gorilla because they were unsure of what the gorilla would do. “We could not stand by and watch this animal maul the toddler to death, while we stood by,” replied the zoo official.
Did this animal deserve to die? Was this action justified? Some people blamed the mother of the 3-year-old for negligence. “She should have been watching her child instead of using her phone,” replied one woman.
Exploitation of Animals
Imprisoning animals for our amusement is abhorrent. Zoo officials claim that zoos are necessary for the prevention of animal extinction by instigating breeding programs. How effective are these breeding programs though? To date, they have not been able to mitigate the extinction of rhinos and leopards, to name a few of those species facing extinction. What have the zoos done to thwart animal extinction? They have done bloody nothing. It looks to me that they are more interested in lining their pockets rather than look out of the welfare of these animals.
How much of the zoo’s budget goes into anti-poaching efforts? We see the world animals going into extinction one after another. What is the surprising thing is that these zoos have done little to mitigate the situation. If you are going to cage a gorilla, shouldn’t you do more to help his relatives in the rain forests of Africa? The elephants that you see in these enclosures, do you think they like being there? Go to the grasslands of Botswana and Kenya and see how these animals coexist in the Savannah free from any tethers whatsoever. Why are we caging them? If zoos are not helping with extinction, who should be?
A few years ago the Indianapolis Zoo kept advertising the arrival of a cheetah. I was a little disturbed by it when I told my wife that the whole concept was troubling to me. Why would we enclose an animal that can achieve speeds of up to 75mph in the wild? How will that animal be able to run like that in the zoo? Are the zoos profiting at the expense of the caged up animals? These poor animals are being brought to cities to attract crowds and bolster the zoo’s profits. What is laughable is that you are promised the experience of a safari in downtown Indianapolis. Give me a break; it is absolute lunacy to think you can get the experience of a safari anywhere but in Africa.
Get rid of this archaic practice
Many zoos have been in operation for well more than two hundred years. They have made their profits now it is time to see them be more active in conservation. I believe that a lion finds it abominable to be given steak in its cage for dinner rather than hunting for game in the plains of Africa. If you want to see a lion, I think you should go to Africa, and if one needs to see a polar bear, they should go to the North Pole. Neither of these animals belongs in a zoo.
The incident at the Cincinnati Zoo was a stark reminder that these animals don’t belong in a zoo. Freedom is always the best option and seeing these animals cooped up daily is sad. Let these animals go.