Thursday, October 20, 2011

Trip to the Zoo/Animal Cruelty

Last Weekend I made my first trip back to the National Zoo in about three years! It was my baby niece’s first trip so it was quite exciting!

Let me mention that, while I love seeing the animals, my heart hurts to see their living conditions. They don’t have the freedom of living a natural life in their habitats and, instead, have millions of strangers cycling through to stare through the glass or cage, pointing and taking pictures. It’s sad.

However, it was still a treat to see my one-year-old niece enjoying all the sights and sounds of the zoo :)

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What a pretty {and lonely} tiger! Around the bend were the lions! There were eight cubs and the female adult lion. They were mostly just hanging out, playing around, sharpening their claws on the tree. Ya know, normal cat things. Then, two of the cubs started to get into some mischief and mama cat had to go straighten things out. It was so cool to watch! I have it on video and you can even hear a loud ROAR! It was definitely one of the greatest moments at the zoo! Here’s the play by play through pictures :)

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And then, the almighty King of the Jungle…

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His mane was astonishingly beautiful with lots of darker hair underneath. He seemed peaceful and calm and when the wind blew, he stuck his nose up as if to feel and smell the breeze. Still so sad to see this as his kingdom…

Next, we went to the Ape House which mostly just made me sad. It was interesting to see these creatures that so strangely resembled us, yet, they sat there, behind the glass. The orangutan humored the kids as he made circles in his “house” swinging from branch to branch, over and over again. I felt bad for the guy.

Later on, I found a beautiful magnolia tree with the sun peeking through and the most perfect elephant sculpture.

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The Giant Panda slept upside down on some cold concrete with stacks of bamboo piled up, waiting for him to munch on.

The red panda {below} fascinated me. It looks like a mixture of so many different types of animals!

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We continued along the zoo’s “Asian Trail” and paid a visit to the elephants. The elephant exhibit is currently undergoing a huge revamp so it was a bit tricky to get to this larger-than-life creature. However, once it moseyed its way on over, Aubrey LOVED it! She got so excited and couldn’t stop pointing to it :)

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She also loved the pretty pink {mostly} flamingo family! Seriously, how DO they stand on one little skinny leg WHILE they sleep? {Any ASA Flamingo Fam sisters know the secret?!}

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Aubrey sure loved pointing at the flamingoes! She probably thought she was one of them since she was wearing pink and all :)

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Vultures are so foul. This guy actually stood there with his wings spread open the entire time. Sick.

Finally, we made it over to the one exhibit I had been looking forward to. The CHEETAHS! I love cheetahs. So, I was clearly disappointed when I saw how far away they were. But, can ya blame them? You might be able to see a little cheetah head lounging in the grass over by the far left side of the fence in this first one. In the second picture, two of the cheetahs were pacing back and forth next to the zebra’s fence. I think it’s because they wanted to pretend like they were back in Africa and could actually integrate with other species. Sad.

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Yeah, disappointment. Oh well. At least I’ve seen them up-close at least once.

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These golden lion tamarins were pretty much all the rage in the “Small Mammal House.”

Oh, and we can’t forget the meerkats!

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Well, that was a brief rundown of Aubrey’s first trip to the vet! She had a great time and was such a trooper!

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Now, if you have been reading my blog for a while now, you know animals hold a very special place in my heart. I believe in animal rights, the ethical treatment of animals, and I was even a vegan. Yes, vegan. For ethical reasons. I’m posting this about the zoo one day after 48 wild/exotic animals were shot dead. Of the 48 were 18 RARE Bengal tigers. There are only 1,400 of those animals left on this entire planet and because of what happened in Ohio, that number has been decreased by nearly TWENTY in just minutes.

While I was at the zoo, I was deeply saddened by the signs attached to so many cages saying “Endangered” or “Threatened” and the reasons being “Hunted” or “Elimination of habitat".” WE as HUMANS are the reason these beautiful creatures that have graced this Earth for thousands of years are DYING and going EXTINCT.

I do not have the reason for why the owner of this “Animal Farm” decided to throw the animals’ cages open. But I question this: WHY is it OKAY for these people to house exotic animals let alone that many? Whether the person has a criminal record {like he did} or not, I am so AGAINST these laws and permits allowing people to have and BUY wild animals.

I’m not sure what to believe of this story. I heard the Sheriff say the reason tranquilizers were not used was because operating a tranquilizer requires “excessive training” and the police just don’t carry tranquilizers in their vehicles. Then, I read somewhere that a veterinarian hit a tiger with a tranquilizer dart but the animal ‘charged at her and then turned to flee before the drug took effect so the deputies shot it dead.’ So, what’s the real story?

Who’s really to blame?

WHY are we allowing this to happen and WILL there be an end before more animals wind up extinct?

15 comments:

Lauren said...

I think species naturally go extinct and there are several that have lived, and died, without us even know they existed at all. That being said, I think it's unfortunate that a lot of the beautiful creatures we're fascinated by today are in danger of no longer existing just because we think their pelt is pretty, or their ivory is valuable.

Megan said...

goodness thank you so much for posting this because i havent yet found the heart to write anything about it.

i havent been able to go to a zoo since age 12 or younger...i just cant do it. i cant stand to see these animals living in environments other than the ones God created for them. i understand extinction is a big part of society, but i feel like it should happen naturally and NOT because mankind is perpetrating the extinction or endangerment of a certain species.

while i understand zoos have some good for the people in terms of understanding about animal life, etc, i think having no more than 3 in the US is necessary. when the world has more bengal tigers in captivity than in the wild, AND it is an endangered species...we have a problem.

im just so saddened by this situation and while i understand people feel it was necessary to shoot the animals to keep the people alive, the real problem ISNT that at all...it is the fact that these poor animals were living on this farm, probably abused, in the first place. the US should make super harsh restrictions on these animals being in the US in the first place...and we wouldnt have this problem.

hope youre having a good week :)

Sar said...

I'm so confused, why were they shot? Did they get loose or something? Why would you just shoot endangered animals?

PeaceLoveApplesauce said...

I have not heard.. what happened in Ohio??

Alexandria said...

First: positive. I was scrollign through these photos thinking to myself 'I hope there's at least one photo of the pandas. I hope there's some panda pictures.' Thank you for not disappointing!

Second: it's such a horrific story, and I understand that people were scared, but there are such things as tranquilizer guns. Those poor, poor animals :(

CMae said...

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/10/18/Wild-animals-loose-in-Muskingum-County.html

Read this article. Yesterday, I said the same thing, why did all these endangered species get shot!?! the article is directly from The Columbus paper, which if you didn't know, C bus is 30 miles outside of Zanesville, where this took place yesterday.

Jack Hanna, a huge animal advocate is actually on the side of the police, which is also explained in the article.

Once I read it, it made sense as to why they had to shoot the animals.

Let me know what you think.

Dayna Leigh said...

Zoos hurt my heart. I did a speech about how America basically shouldn't have them because it's practically considered cruelty to those poor animals in college. At least in my opinion. But to each their own I guess.

I'm glad to see, though, that your niece enjoyed all the sights! It can be such an interesting first experience!

Katie said...

Living so close to where this happened and having family/friends know Jack Hanna on a a personal basis, obviously I researched this up and down. What the sheriff's did was the right thing. The ONLY person to blame here is the owner who was SO selfish by releasing them from their cages. He had this planned..he did it right before dark so that it would turn crazy. Can you imagine looking for 40-some exotic animals in the woods at night? Not only is it IMPOSSIBLE to tranqualizer all of them, it's super dangerous. The sheriffs and deputies would be HUNTED themselves. The other persons to blame is the governor for letting the laws expire and for allowing someone who was charged with animal creulty in 2005 to keep them on his property. SO wrong.

I LOVE animals, esp. tigers, but this was the only choice they had or possibly humans lives would be lost. It's devasting but they did what was best for the community at the time. Hopefully something GOOD can come out of this {aka laws being changed}

Superficial Sanctuary said...

I just read that story this morning and was sickened by it; those animals did NOTHING to anyone to be treated that way, but that man should never have been allowed to have them to begin with.

On a lighter note, your meerkat photo is ADORABLE -- too, too cute. I know it's sad that those animals are kept in captivity, but at least they are safer than the animals that were just thoughtlessly murdered. Ugh, that man infuriates me!!

Carolyn said...

I love the zoo photos, precious!

The Ohio incident is HORRIBLE. I can't believe that someone can be that selfish and not care about the wellbeing of the animals. :(

Raquel said...

Ugh seriously, hearing stuff like that breaks my heart :( I can't believe people would do such criminal things to animals!

Btw, awesome pictures! I loooove the zoo!

Amanda C. said...

That is so sad. I have a soft spot for animals too. I love the flamingos!

Cait said...

awww. wow thats crazy what people do to animals :( if you're interested i'm giving away a starbuck gift card on my blog! come check it out!

Sophie @ threetimesf said...

I totally agree with everything you've said about animal cruelty here :'( :'(

Doesn't change the fact that I haven't been to the zoo in years though and am v jealous!!

natasha {schue love} said...

The whole episode that happened in Ohio is truly heartbreaking. I just don't understand how there weren't alternative options. I too understood that they were afraid that the animals would retreat to the woods before it knocked them out. Such a travesty. I appreciate this post.