Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 2 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   3 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Zoos: Don't 'get the party started'

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (6 fans)
- Advertisement -

What do blaring techno-pop, psychotropic drugs and zoos have in common? The answer, of course, should be "nothing," but in an effort to keep revenue flowing in, zoos and aquariums around the world are welcoming events ranging from raves to weddings at their facilities --at a high cost to the resident animals. It's bad enough that animals are confined to these facilities in the first place. They shouldn't also be reduced to party props. 

Recently released toxicology reports suggest that two dolphins at a Swiss zoo died after ingesting a heroin substitute shortly after a weekend-long rave was held near their tank. 

Reports speculate that the drug had been dumped into the tank during the rave "accidentally" or as a practical joke, but Shadow and Chelmers died slowly and in agony. Chelmers' keeper described his last hour: "He was shaking all over and was foaming at the mouth. Eventually we got him out of the water. His tongue was hanging out. He could hardly breathe." 

Zoos are marketing their facilities for birthday parties, corporate receptions and nighttime "safaris," even though the commotion and noise can leave animals anxious and unsettled. Three guides at a rave at the Georgia Aquarium admitted that music at such parties upsets the animals and causes them to fight. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency that inspects zoos, has acknowledged that allowing nighttime visitors can agitate primates. At the San Diego Zoo, an inspector asked zoo officials to reevaluate nighttime display of the gelada baboons, as they appeared to be stressed out.  

Aren't zoos and aquariums supposed to be focusing on the comfort and well-being of the animals? It seems we haven't progressed much in the years since a former zoo director admitted, in a 1984 article, that the animals are "the last thing I worry about with all the other problems."       

By their very nature, zoos leave animals vulnerable to the whims and wishes of zookeepers and visitors . Animals in zoos have been poisoned, left to starve, deprived of veterinary care and burned alive in fires. They've been beaten, shot, pelted with rocks and stolen by people who were able to gain access to the cages. Many have died after eating coins and trash tossed into their cages. A giraffe who recently died in an Indonesian zoo was found to have a wad of 44 pounds of plastic in his stomach made up of food wrappers thrown into his cage by visitors.   

- Advertisement -

It's no wonder that zoos are increasingly desperate to attract visitors: Parents who still take their children to the zoo are becoming as rare as the dodo bird. Most people are starting to agree that sentencing animals to life behind bars is ethically indefensible, and in response many zoos are adding trains, sky rides, carousels and water attractions to entice visitors to come through the gates.    

Visitors to Disney's Animal Kingdom are "educated" about threatened wildlife on a thrill ride once called "Countdown to Extinction." And let's not forget coyly named fundraisers such as "Woo at the Zoo" and "Jungle Love," at which visitors pay to watch animals have sex. Accompanied by candles and Barry White tunes, tourists sip and sup while awaiting "action." How does this foster even a scintilla of respect for animals?   

Zoo events may be a novelty for visitors, but for the imprisoned animals , it means that their already-limited period of peace and quiet has been stolen from them. Parties and picnics belong in the park or in backyards, not outside the bars of a caged animal who can't decline to attend.

Jennifer O'Connor is a staff writer with the PETA Foundation, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; www.PETA.org .   

- Advertisement -

 

http://www.peta.org/

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), with more than 3 million members and supporters, is the largest animal rights organization in the world. PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Dolphins in tanks: Cruel confinement

Don't turn your back on feral cats

Squash your carbon footprint: Go vegan

If chimpanzees could talk, what would they say?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

for clueing us in to yet another instance and plac... by Suzana Megles on Friday, Jun 1, 2012 at 7:48:42 AM
You say it is a crime that animals have to be lock... by liberalsrock on Friday, Jun 1, 2012 at 9:55:27 AM
People want zoos - they just don't want to pay for... by Doc McCoy on Friday, Jun 1, 2012 at 9:32:04 PM