Join our zoo community

BBC Horizon - Should We Close Our Zoos? 17/04/2016

Discussion in 'TV, Movies, Books about Zoos & Wildlife' started by cliffxdavis, 12 Apr 2016.

  1. cliffxdavis

    cliffxdavis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Oct 2011
    Posts:
    110
    Location:
    Birmingham
    From the BBC

    "Liz Bonnin presents a controversial and provocative episode of Horizon, investigating how new scientific research is raising hard questions about zoos - the film explores how and why zoos keep animals, and whether they need to change to keep up with modern science, or ultimately be consigned to history.

    Should zoos cull their animals to manage populations? Liz travels to Copenhagen Zoo, who killed a giraffe and fed it to the lions, to witness their culling process first hand. They think it is a natural part of zoo keeping that is often swept under the carpet. Should some animals never be kept in captivity? In a world exclusive, Liz visits SeaWorld in Florida and asks if captivity drove one of their orcas to kill his trainer.

    But could zoos be the answer to conserving endangered species? Liz examines their record, from helping breed pandas for the wild to efforts to save the rhinos. She meets one of the last surviving northern white rhinos and discovers the future of this species now lies in a multimillion-dollar programme to engineer them for stem cells. Veteran conservation scientist Dr Sarah Bexel tells Liz the science of captive breeding is giving humanity false hope."

    Also a two page feature in this weeks Radio Times.
     
  2. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    1,322
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia
    Closing zoos, will results with many people who lost their work and big economic influence.

    That will also results with cultural, educational, research and recreational deprivation of societies.

    Most zoo animals can't be reintroduced in the wilderness, so what will happen to them? You can't just stop breed them literaly, and why doing so when they are already used to life in captivity?
     
  3. cliffxdavis

    cliffxdavis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Oct 2011
    Posts:
    110
    Location:
    Birmingham
    We need to see what is said on Sunday but in the article the main thrust appears to be captive breeding is pointless as it is impossible to release them to the wild if there is no wild. They appear to be arguing that we are complacent to habitat destruction because we have a captive population. Clearly the issue is not either or but both but in the short term I dont want to see any more species become extinct when we could have done something with zoos while we wait for the first world to force the third world not to industrialise the same way they have.
     
  4. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,378
    Location:
    Stoke-on-Trent England
    I'm guessing it will be anti-zoo.
     
  5. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Dec 2015
    Posts:
    288
    Location:
    England
    Eh they can pick and choose can't they. If they pick critically endangered species that have failed reintroductions or which show vast sums of money being spent then they can easily guide the audience and views toward zoos being a bad thing and a waste of resources.

    Similarly they can highly insufficient space within the captive environment if they just go visit a few of the more city-locked establishments (London Zoo?)



    Similarly put they could even argue for an increase in smaller establishments. Wildlife centres that offer fewer species; but increased specialist focus and reduced operating costs; with many cited outside of cities and not linked to (often) Victorian architecture or site choices.

    I doubt zoos will vanish at all; although the value of reintroduction or other similar projects is questionable and hinges heavily upon land in the wild to be used. One could argue that vast sums spent on some species that are so underpopulated that even a restored population would be heavily impacted and unhealthy for generations; could be money better spent on land acquisition and restoration.
     
  6. Panthera1981

    Panthera1981 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Mar 2014
    Posts:
    594
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire,UK
    Controversial and provocative? Hopefully they'll present some new arguments rather than tread over old ground. The presenter also has/had ties with ZSL so is it wise to use her?

    Will watch with interest!
     
  7. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    1,624
    Location:
    Everywhere at once
    Number of zoos and attendance is growing steadily worldwide (and in Britain, too, I think), so the episode is better called "should zoos be accepted as mainstream top attractions".

    However, end of nature outside national parks is very possible and more worrying. Combine degradation with decreased public access and interest. It is said that most of children in Britain were in the forest only few times in their lives. So we might be going in direction of, for example, Thailand, where in much of the country, forest or any nature exists only in national parks, fenced and with tickets to entry.
     
  8. cliffxdavis

    cliffxdavis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Oct 2011
    Posts:
    110
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Apparently ZSL refused to take part.
     
  9. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    845
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Zoo attendance has been growing in the U.S. too, even when you account for population growth. Many, if not most zoos have been setting attendance records recently. The animal rights groups are tenacious in their anti-zoo stance, but it's clear that most Americans, at least, have not been swayed. It doesn't seem that zoos are leaving anytime soon.

    While some captive breeding programs in zoos have been failures, there have also been successes (Bali myna, golden lion tamarin, Rodrigues flying fox, red wolf, Micronesian kingfisher, Panamanian golden frog, etc). Additionally, maintaining captive reservoirs of species is not even the main purpose of zoos, let alone the sole purpose. Zoos exist as entertainment for the public, and also serve to educate people and instill a sense of appreciation and support for wildlife. Neither of those purposes are rendered moot by the idea that breeding giant pandas is a waste of money.
     
  10. taun

    taun Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    3,589
    Location:
    England
    Which suggests it is an unfair look at zoos otherwise you would stand and argue the case. :(
     
  11. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Dec 2015
    Posts:
    288
    Location:
    England
    I think ZSL couldn't afford the bad publicity if their arguments were to prove unpopular or if the debate swung to an unfair angle. There's enough material out there these days that it could swing either way and publicity wise it was probably easier for them to step back and let it be a debate between people rather than involving their institution.
     
  12. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    1,624
    Location:
    Everywhere at once
    Unfortunately, format of TV programs by BBC makes constant danger of giving false impression. BBC tends to present things by examples, and time limit allows just few examples. So it is easy to make false balance - one example pro, one against, or give few examples of one side only, even very marginal view.

    If we look at big picture, zoos are accepted in society and make good job. BBC could also show broad picture, quoting more stats in their programs, not just one-off examples. For example 95% or so of British public support zoos, or number of reintroductions supported by zoos (hundreds, mostly of animals not extinct globally but locally).
     
  13. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Dec 2015
    Posts:
    288
    Location:
    England
    The other element is how the program is cut for broadcast. The whole debate likely won't be shown; but enough will be shown to make a clear argument and flow; however the result is that key arguments for and against might well be left out. This can mean that the overall message can be at the hands of whoever is in the cutting room rather than whatever happens in reality.



    Reality shows, like The Apprentice or Dragons Den, do this a lot. They can make you look an utter fool or a genius just by how they pick and choose what is and isn't shown. It's why in the former you can often see people who manage to go 3 or so episodes in who are invisible early on who suddenly come to the fore as a key idiot/genius. Similarly in the latter by picking and choosing a company can appear stupid or totally on the ball (even just drawing out pauses by panning around the dragons can make someone appear to be stumbling at a question)
     
  14. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    16,553
    Location:
    england
    At the end of the day its just a T.V programme which seeks, by its title- to be topical and challenging, in order to attract viewers. Afterwards it will be forgotten.

    Zoos will carry on being zoos, whatever conclusions it reaches.
     
  15. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    1,003
    Location:
    Changzhou, China
    I wonder how true this is - we only need to look at Blackfish to see the impact a single piece of media can have, whether it be a program, documentary or even article.

    This won't be anywhere near that biased we can assume but the blurb does indicate it will take a negative tone. Not unsursprising. The Secret Life of Chester may have been very successful, but an investigative report that indicated all was well would not make for good viewing figures.

    I hope Copenhagen are given space to make their case.
     
  16. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Dec 2015
    Posts:
    288
    Location:
    England
    TV is a mysterious beast; used right and shown at the right time its capable of achieving extreme results with a single program. Similarly whilst one program alone might not cause damage a series of programs which all carry the same theme or undertone can have the same end result. With its ability to target the whole nation and the whole globe this can result in big shifts in society itself.

    Just look at how photographers with "big lenses" are almost criminalized if they are seen out and around whilst go back 10 or 20 years this wouldn't have been the case at all.
     
  17. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    414
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    Piece in the BBC News Magazine relating to the TV programme: Can orcas ever be healthy in captivity? - BBC News

    It focuses on orca captivity rather than zoos in general. Will be interesting to see if the programme itself is focused in this way or if it will cover a wider scope of zoos
     
  18. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    16,553
    Location:
    england
    But were they present in such droves as they are now, back then? And do 'photo competitions' etc on the T.V. and other wildlife-related media contribute to their increase at all, or are they just a phenomenum of our times anyway?
     
  19. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Dec 2015
    Posts:
    288
    Location:
    England
    That is the odd thing.
    Ignoring the paparazzi and celebrity photography site and focusing purely upon the hobbyist in the public place the DSLR and big camera are a newer thing. However it seems that along with them being more common, more popular and more easily bought by pretty much anyone they have come to be associated with bad elements in society.

    Which is surprising when one considers that they stand out like a sore thumb and everyone (even more so) knows that mobile phones, tablets and small point and shoots already have more than capable abilities and often even more "zoom".


    That the DSLR photographer is suddenly associated with terrorists and paedophiles is very strange when one considers that such activities would more likely attract use of more discreet cameras. Even more so when its been shown time and again that the actual thread of these individuals with cameras is tiny. It's purely a result of media reporting that has driven this change in social views [and within certain social areas and groupings].





    Going back to the zoo program considering that breeding orcas in captivity has been banned/withdrawn for some of the USA aquariums (I seem to recall reading that recently) it seems that they are jumping on that topical argument of whales in captivity. An interesting one though because the UK isn't really known for having whales in captivity (in fact do we even have any?). For such vast animals known to swim vast distances it won't be a hard argument to prove that captivity is not conductive to healthy living for them - especially considering that the track record for those animals is not without its muddy waters (and that's without considering the danger of such animals to the keepers*)


    *Although in truth any large or violent animal is dangerous - horses; cows; pigs etc.... all are capable of killing and do do so without intentionally being violent or attacking
     
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    16,553
    Location:
    england
    Not really the topic of this thread but...

    In Birdwatching circles there seems to have been a seismic shift with genuine 'watchers' nowadays outnumbered by photographers. Go to see any unusual bird and you will usually be surrounded by photographers 'firing' their lenses at it. I can't quite figure what they do with the huge number of photos they reel off of a single subject though.