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Cuddly polar bear cub better off dead,


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#46    Mattshark

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 05:43 PM

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They are there for making money...the fact that observers may learn something from their captive behavior means nothing. To believe otherwise is naive... As stated, I would no more support the capture and housing of wild animals than I would jump from a cliff.
If the animals are so happy - why do we hear of elephants killing their trainers? How many dolphins or whales have attacked/killed their trainers?
Has the study of these animals determined that killing their trainers is a sign of joy?
Support confining them all you like...No way will I.
That is not strictly true, Chester Zoo is the UK's premier zoo and is a charity. It is not run for profit. It is run for breeding and reintroduction, individuals zoo's should be judged on their own merit you can not compare Chester zoo for example to Seaworld, they are very different things.

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#47    Cetacea

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 06:22 PM

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Why?  There is only a few that can be in zoos... and those can be saved.  'phins and whales are just as hunted and in danger as any other and in need of protection and breeding programs as well.


I agree that they are in need of protection and breeding program however up to now nothing like this has been achieved in captivity. i am not outright anti-zoos but i do think zoos need to make an effort to replicate a natural environment and genuinly contribute to conservation. however despite best efforst some animals are not suited for captivity,this isthe case in captive cetaceans. they are notorieously diffficult to keep healthy, both mentally and physically, so much so that as att said, some countries have prohibited the exhibition of these animals or have such sever rules on enclosure size that noone bothers anymore.
Although places like Seaworld or $eaWorld as it is also occasionally called claims that they are breeding for conservation they have at the same time said that they never intend to release their animals as they could not survive. Breeding for conservation is only ever useful if at some point reintroduction is planned, something SeaWorld clearly is never planning to let happen.  survival rates and age at death are premature in most cetaceans in captivity despite all the damaging environmental factors that they might encounter in the wild being removed. there is also a number of behavioural problems such as increased aggression towards others and themselves; there is only one record of an orca attacking a human in the wild-from which the human escaped unharmed whereas there are numerous in captivity.
You might have heard of the incident last year when a trainer got dragged under water, that was not the first and only time, the same animal has been behaving aggressively for a while and a week before the even during the show as splashed across the news everywhere exactly the same thing happened during a training session with another animal. There have been cases of mother calf aggression where the mother was actively trying to injure or even kill her calf which is hardly natural behaviour. there has also been no recorded cases to my knowledge of an orca attacking another and it resulting in one of the animal's death, again this has happened in captivity and is the reason some of the animals are kept seperately meaning some of them spend a large amount of time in even smaller 'holding tanks'. Orcas swim and average of 70-100 miles a day in the wild, this is in no way equivalent to what they do in captivity which is one of the reasons suspected for the floppy dorsal fin in captivity, a phenomena which Seaworld claims is due to genetics however occurs independently in unrelated animals, overall i'd guess by the pictures in about 90% of their orcas.
The enrichment is poor at the best, these animals are highly intelligent and all they get is training routines over and over again and some enrichment devices which are not anywhere near suitable for them like afew plastic beach balls. if you look at a modern zoo enclosure, what do you expect to see, an environment replicating the natural one,a few places to hide, foliage, water features  in the case of big cats mayeb heat coils, enrichment feeding devices , something to scrathetc etc, in chester zo othey will for example lay scent trails for the cats and hide their meat in the enclosure to give them something to do. what do you see when you look into an orca tank? water and a few rocks.this might be what the ocean looks like superficially but it leaves out the complexities of different substrata and most of all sound. Cetaceans live in a world of sound, it is a very importat part of their lives, what do they get in a tank/ the sound of pumps. The people who rehabilitated keiko seemed to knnow this and fed him ocean sounds and gave him natural substrata, currents and other stimulation in his preliminary tank however SEaWorld does not seem to think that is necessary in any way. Nothing is done to encourage echolocation or any form of natural behaviour either as it is done in good zoo.
Oh dear i rambled on for a bit didn't i....sorry i just really don't like SEaworld  blush.gif
In my opinion good zoos taking part in interational breeding programs-as for example Chester zoo which participates in breeding a breeding program that has already successfully released Przewalski horses back into the wild- are an important part of conservation and can be very educating for the public, however the animals should obviously always come first, no matter what and some animals are just not suitable for captivity, as long as zoos stick to that kind of setup -rather than, let's make lots of money by taking animals from the wild and sticking them into such tiny spaces that zoo visitors cannot miss them-i have no problem with them and will support them.original.gif
oh and btw as far as I know nowhere keeps whales, orcas, belugas and the like are dolphins as well original.gif

As for the polar bear cub, that is just crap, the point of zoos in my opinion is to aid conservation, how are they going to do that if they let the animals die because it might have happened like that in nature?

Edited by Cetacea, 27 March 2007 - 06:24 PM.

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#48    SilverCougar

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 07:43 PM

Only been to sea world once... and then later to another place that was seaworld like.

Let me tell you, the animals at seaworld were living at the Ritz Carliton compaired to the other place. =\


It is hard to keep many animals alive in captivity, that's why zoos are striving to fix that.  And I hope someday, they do...

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#49    Cetacea

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 08:05 PM

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Only been to sea world once... and then later to another place that was seaworld like.

Let me tell you, the animals at seaworld were living at the Ritz Carliton compaired to the other place. =\
It is hard to keep many animals alive in captivity, that's why zoos are striving to fix that.  And I hope someday, they do...


Yeah SeaWorld is a lot better than a few poorer facilites like the Miami Seaquarium but that doesn't mean they are good enough. Most zoos already achieve longer lifespans for their animals than in the wild which is really good but I doubt SeaWorld is tryig to improve much, i have asked about enrichment programs a few times and was told by them that they don't really need enrichment outside training and trainer-interactions  no.gif

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#50    SilverCougar

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 08:12 PM

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Yeah SeaWorld is a lot better than a few poorer facilites like the Miami Seaquarium but that doesn't mean they are good enough. Most zoos already achieve longer lifespans for their animals than in the wild which is really good but I doubt SeaWorld is tryig to improve much, i have asked about enrichment programs a few times and was told by them that they don't really need enrichment outside training and trainer-interactions  no.gif


Time to think realisticly though.  They can only do what their space, government, funding, and technology can allow.  Each time technology comes up with something better and helpful they then need to get the funding to get it.

That's why instead of scorning them, help them.

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#51    Cetacea

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 08:45 PM

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Time to think realisticly though.  They can only do what their space, government, funding, and technology can allow.  Each time technology comes up with something better and helpful they then need to get the funding to get it.

That's why instead of scorning them, help them.


Funding? They make about a hundred million dollars profit on every park as far as i know, that is profit with costs deducted, they donate about 1% of that to research which is obviously quite a lot if you just look at the pure amount but not a lot for an organisation that claims to be all about education, research and conservation. The technology is there, people have done studies on sound and echolocation enrichment, the technology was all in place when keiko's enclosure was build but they choose not to use them, that is the problem. The problem is that they don't seem to want to breed for conservation, they have said they will never release animals, they do not even encourage natural behaviour, that is the problemm i am all for a breeding program for endangered species but in my opinion that should be run by experienced biologists, who know about their natural behaviour and what will need to be taught to them in order for a successful release, rather than a company who's main aim is to make a lot of money. The trainers that care for the orcas at SeaWorld are not required to even have a Bsc. degree in Marine biology or for that matter a degree, of course you can learn a lot from just pure experience,that is true, but the experience of trainers at SeaWorld is usually based on experiences with captive animals and i believe experience of the natural behaviour is vital if you are going be working with such complex animals or are in fact planning to breed them. The head keepers of for example Chester zoo do go to the wild and observe animals there once in a while, the person i am in contanct with for my third year project for examle was unavailable for a week last month because he was in africa studying cheetahs.
Apart from that neither bottlenose dolphins nor orcas are greatly endangered, orcas maybe locally but there are cetaceans as the vaquita porpoise or river dolphins that are by far more in need of research and breeding programs, unfortunately for them though they are neither spectacular nor very attractive.
Seaworld actually has breached the marine mammal protection act several times, trading and trasporting cetaceans for commercial/business use for example is both in breach of the marine mammal protection act and cites. you are also only allowed to keep cetaceans for research purposes according to that and apparently they are currently not doing any research apart from some basic things on diet which are hardly ground breaking and definately a justification for keeping the animals in captivity.
They are also planning a new water park for which the main cetacean attraction seems to be the Commerson dolphin, this is a wide ranging and fast swimming dolphin (according to Seaworld it was selected because it would fit in very well with the theme of the park which is supposed to be fast and thrilling) which is not listed as endangered but is fairly rare in captivity as far as i know, which begs the question where they are going to get the animals from and why they are not going for animals that are a) better adapted for captive life, ie. found in shallow water  with small ranges for example and b ) why they focus is on the animal fitting in with the park rather than the park fitting in with the animal and an appropriate conservation program. Rather than building yet another park aybe theey should use the money to improve what they have.

Edited by Cetacea, 27 March 2007 - 09:17 PM.

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#52    GreenmansGod

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 09:10 PM

We have created a massive die off of species.  Species known or unknown disappear everyday.  We can sit back and do nothing and hope the bulldozer runs out of gas or we can do anything we can.  Zoos are genetic banks, imperfect as they are.  Ya I hate to see an animal in captivity, they should be out in the wild with their buddies.  If we can save the habit maybe we can reintroduce animal back to its home, as was done with the Przewalski's Horse.  Trouble is we are not going to be able to save everything. That was the trouble with Noah's ark it wasn't big enough for everything.  Lets all hope the bulldozer runs out of gas.

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#53    Star_girl

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 12:28 PM

Reading this article makes me wonder if we have totally lost the plot...

Why kill something that has the chance to live? Especially due to the fact that it is endangered? Also if the zoo can accomodate it why not it is not as if its natural environment is getting any bigger...

Sometimes I think people just need to be slapped and told to wake up to what they are saying.. Bah killing an animal how can they advocate that it is in the animals best interest. Maybe they should be killed in the interest of bettering human kind... IMO  innocent.gif

I am all for decent zoos, the ones that are open and big enough to accomodate the creatures they look after, not the ones that consist of tiny metal cages and call themselves zoos... In an ideal world we would not have need for zoos but with dwindleing natural habitats they are a lifeline for so many of the animals that they look after.

I really hope that this little cub makes it though all of the red tape and they are able to successfully raise it. That would be the ideal slap in the face of those "animal activists"...

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#54    graylady2

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 02:34 PM

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That is not strictly true, Chester Zoo is the UK's premier zoo and is a charity. It is not run for profit. It is run for breeding and reintroduction, individuals zoo's should be judged on their own merit you can not compare Chester zoo for example to Seaworld, they are very different things.


I get what you're saying - still...it seems an oxymoron to equate charity with confining wildlife so we can study them, and try saving various species. We're failing miserably with our own planet and our humanity (or lack of). So, what makes us think we're doing the right thing with other species on this planet? Because we think something is right doesn't make it so...


#55    graylady2

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 02:45 PM

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I agree that they are in need of protection and breeding program however up to now nothing like this has been achieved in captivity. i am not outright anti-zoos but i do think zoos need to make an effort to replicate a natural environment and genuinly contribute to conservation. however despite best efforst some animals are not suited for captivity,this isthe case in captive cetaceans. they are notorieously diffficult to keep healthy, both mentally and physically, so much so that as att said, some countries have prohibited the exhibition of these animals or have such sever rules on enclosure size that noone bothers anymore.


Good post...although I don't agree with "they are in need of protection and breeding progam...." It's humanity's behavior which threatens wildlife...so, depending on us for protection seems incongruous.


#56    Saint

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 02:50 PM

Wot BLueZone said!! Spot on!

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#57    ASOP

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 03:10 PM

Well said star girl. yes.gif


#58    Mattshark

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 01:54 PM

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I get what you're saying - still...it seems an oxymoron to equate charity with confining wildlife so we can study them, and try saving various species. We're failing miserably with our own planet and our humanity (or lack of). So, what makes us think we're doing the right thing with other species on this planet? Because we think something is right doesn't make it so...

Yes but some zoo's are trying to put this right, they are not putting wild caught animals in the zoo and as previously mention the przewalski horse was saved from extinction by zoos like Chester (which was a major contributor to the reintroduction program). Unfortuanatly, untill we can address the socio-economic problems of the world, conservation will not be high priority in many countries and we are limited in the methods we have at our disposal. Aslong as the animals are properly cared for and given appropriate space and enrichment and the zoo is doing this for the right reasons then I believe it is acceptable.

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