I have refrained from saying anything about this issue before as I have avoided posting anything about the latest tragedies.
The reasons being that I feel I have little to offer except condolences and this would get in the way of people who have more information, or who are better equipped to console mourners whether by being closer to the issue, or by the simply having a larger fan base with which to gather together and mourn.
I feel that any posts I make would get between people who need to find others who need the comfort of others with similar experiences.
That being said I am going to tackle this issue because I feel like I have to say something. I don’t want to point the finger of blame anywhere, this is not a witch hunt. I feel like I have to make this point clear before I continue.
It’s the issue with common sense in regards to wild animals. There have been several incidents in the last few years in which children have fallen in to animal enclosures, some of the animals have been shot as a result. We are always outraged either the zoo keepers, or the parents, or both.
Recently in Rio a Jaguar was tied up so a noisy torch lit procession could go past it. Unsurprisingly it panicked and escaped, did not go down with the tranquilizing darts, and so was shot and killed.
I feel that our lack of common sense is cause by a lack of respect for the wild. We have captured and caged these animals, we stare at them for our amusement, captive breeding is helping to save certain species, yes. However, we have forgotten in the fact that because we can stand close to these creatures without fear that these are wild animals who do not act like humans do. They are not our playthings.
We should not be chaining these creatures up and trailing past them and expect them to remain calm, we should not be putting wild animals in enclosures that toddlers can climb in to.
We need to regain our respect of the wild and use some common sense to combat further issues.
We need to teach children who walk around zoos that these animals are creatures to be respected, not petted.
Like I said I don’t want to play the blame game, we just all need to be more mindful. We have a duty of care to these animals that we have in captivity.