Killers

Feb. 25th, 2010 09:24 am
snorkel_maiden: (Atheism)
[personal profile] snorkel_maiden
 Urgh, this story. It is, of course, terrible that the trainer has been killed. However. I absolutely detest the keeping of marine mammals in captivity. As far as I'm concerned there's absolutely no justification for it at all and the very idea makes me angry. Zoos I can get, because they serve a purpose; which is the breeding and reintroduction of endangered species to their natural habitats. The education of people about the animals is a nice accident which goes along with that, but in itself education isn't a justifiable reason for keeping animals in zoos; entertaining people certainly isn't. Since marine mammals don't breed in captivity, and anyway that's not the aim of places like SeaWorld, I can't justify them. (We have Gerald Durrell to thank for almost single-handedly changing the purpose of zoos and our perception of them.)

There's also the issue, killer whales aside, of certain animal keepers treating dangerous predatory animals as pets. I can't stand it when a tiger, or bear, or whatever, kills it's keeper and then is destroyed itself; usually for acting in a way entirely in keeping with it's nature. It may do tricks for you, and it may eat it's dinner out of a bowl with it's name on it, but the second you forget that it's a wild animal, and stop giving it the respect that that demands, you're putting yourself at risk. The root of the problem there I think is that some people forget that the true domesticated animals (cats, dogs, horses, farm animals) have been domesticated for tens of thousands of years and have adapted to living with humans; and when you consider the damage that they can do, the stupidity of treating a wild animal in the same way soon becomes clear. Being bred in captivity, even three or four generations in captivity, is not the same thing as domestication.

Don't even get me started on the pointlessness of reintroducing Keiko into the 'wild'.

Argle.

/rant.

This article sums it up better than I could, and without the anger.

Date: 2010-02-25 09:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyelysium.livejournal.com
You know, I thought the exact same thing when I read the article earlier. There's no justification for keeping marine animals in captivity like that. I refuse to go to places like that.

Date: 2010-02-25 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snorkel-maiden.livejournal.com
I won't go either. It just makes me seethe with anger.

Date: 2010-02-25 02:37 pm (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ailbhe
Heh, even zoos make me rageous and sad, and they are often not so bad nowadays.

Date: 2010-02-25 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snorkel-maiden.livejournal.com
I don't mind zoos of the good sort, as outlined in the post; the bad sort really need to all be shut down as soon as possible.

Jersey Zoo for example is one of my favourite places; and they pick the species they have very carefully, and don't have anything larger than gorillas.

Date: 2010-02-25 02:21 pm (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ailbhe
Anyway, it doesn't look like the whale was trying to eat her or anything. Don't orca usually hunt only in packs, like wolves? Er, shoals, I suppose.

Date: 2010-02-25 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snorkel-maiden.livejournal.com
It was probably playing, or something; I'm not really too fussed about it's motivations for doing it, just sad that it'll probably now be destroyed, although goodness only knows how you go about destroying a killer whale.

Date: 2010-02-25 02:35 pm (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ailbhe
I don't think that they even have the "taste for blood!" justification for killing it though. And I suppose they'll harpoon it and try for some sort of lethal injection, or something.

Date: 2010-02-25 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] etoile-violet.livejournal.com
I totally agree. I posted a rant a few years ago about a tiger who killed a girl who was posing for a school photo at a private US zoo. They killed the tiger - whose name I can't find since I can't find my post - for acting like a tiger. Two tragic deaths that could have been avoided. Predators are predators, and killing them for acting within their instincts when we've taken them out of their environment in the first place - well, it's just heaping cruelty on top of cruelty. Although part of me wonders if the individuals are actually better off at peace than being imprisoned and gawped at the way they are - if those were the ony two options.

I'm not sure I agree on the zoo conservation thing though. Often, animals in zoos become so used to humans (more of a concern for those we hunt) and so disturbed after being made to live in too small/boring an environment, that they can no longer be safely reintroduced to the wild. I imagine some zoos will be better than others, but zoos are very cagey (no pun intended) about exactly how many animals they do actually release vs how many stay captive all their lives - you'd think if they had as good a record as they claim they'd be pleased to share the figures. There's also no excuse for keeping social animals like gorillas on their own and keeping animals at all who aren't even endangered but are popular with visitors. These links say it better than me. I don't have the energy to do more than a quick Google, so there's probably better out there as well.

Date: 2010-02-25 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snorkel-maiden.livejournal.com
I don't disagree at all and I think that bad zoos are really really dreadful- also don't entirely disagree about the reintroductions, but I think it's important to try, seeing as it's mostly our fault animals are endangered. Ideally nothing but the most threatened animals would be in zoos anyway.

Date: 2010-02-26 12:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evilbun.livejournal.com
I also have to agree burt I will be cheeky and say that IDEALLY we wouldn't have any animals (bar the natural ebb and flow of evolution and natural base rate species extinction (having forgotton the proper terminology I learnt in Biogeography!)) on the brinl of extinction.

I do however thing it's very important for people to lean about and respect animals of all kinds, and I do feel like those *good* zoos really do serve that purpose.

For No Reason

Date: 2010-04-14 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jabawacefti.livejournal.com
Other than keeping up with an old blogger pal I thought I'd say hi. Oh yeah, and I agree with everything you've said.

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