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Obsessive Anti-Zoos Are A Headache

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by LionTamarin, 30 Dec 2021.

  1. LionTamarin

    LionTamarin Well-Known Member

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    I really don't like people that keep portraying zoos as cruel prisons for animals (when they're not). Zoos are one of the most important types of facilities because they can help species that aren't doing good in the wild.

    PETA is a major example of this because they don't educate themselves on zoos, and instead bash them just for keeping them. PETA has never really done much to help animals, all they really do is euthanize perfectly healthy pets and tell lies.

    I'm sure at least a few of you heard about the documentary Blackfish. Blackfish is a documentary that "exposed" SeaWorld's cruel actions. The thing is, Blackfish is just anti-SeaWorld propaganda made by animal rights extremists disguised as scientists. Unfortunately, most people believed their lies, and SeaWorld's image was ruined, when SeaWorld was doing nothing wrong.

    So yeah, some people probably just need to be more educated or keep stuff to themselves. While yes, some zoos like the infamous Surabaya zoo are awful and need to be shut down, most zoos are actually really good places for animals.

    What do you guys think about these people?
     
  2. Bengal Tiger

    Bengal Tiger Well-Known Member

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    I will say that SeaWorld does have its flaws, but it does do conservation work that is looked over by many members of the public. PETA is an organization that I absolutely hate, just because if it’s ridiculously extreme statements and anti-zoo stances.
     
  3. MonkeyBat

    MonkeyBat Well-Known Member

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    While I feel that this has been a widely discussed topic on ZooChat, I feel like it is a good thing to bring up again.

    The quality of zoos vastly differs. It's a spectrum of crummy to excellent. While I feel the majority of people who work in zoos truly care about their animals, the majority of zoos in the world are not stellar places. Even in countries with excellent zoos, such as the United States, we still have some of the world's worst zoos full of corn crib cages and poor management. Those types of zoos are still abundant, and are opening very quickly. I don't think I think of any "quality" zoo that has emerged in recent years. The majority that have popped up have been these types of places. While the quality zoos that do exist do excellent conservation work and their animal care is exquisite, these smaller facilities really are the reason many people are anti-zoo.

    As for Seaworld, I believe that you're right in saying that the rescue programs and conservation work they do is great, and the majority of their animals are well cared for it seems. However, I agree with a lot of anti-Seaworld people. Their cetacean program is just not good. Killer whales are a species that is not meant to be in captivity, and there's plenty of proof showing that the orcas have both mental and physical problems from being in captivity.

    I think it's important to consider perspective when it comes to zoos. People who don't know zoos well, or live in areas where zoo quality is low will be more likely to be anti zoo. Many people won't travel to a larger zoo if there's one close to their home, as they go to the zoo to see animals, not for quality or collection or size. If the local zoo someone has is crummy, I think that could cause people's ideas of zoos to be bad, with bigger places like San Diego being rare exceptions.

    To put this into example, where I live in Iowa, we have no roadside zoos. We have really strict exotic animal laws, so the last roadside zoo closed earlier this decade. After it closed, we really only had Blank Park left, which while it isn't the largest zoo it's of good quality, and Omaha just across the river, which is often considered one of the best of the world. I don't think I can name a single person I've talked to who thinks negatively of zoos. When I lived in Maryland, that has more roadside zoos, people were more divided on zoos, even when I was in elementary school.

    Please don't attack me, I'm too young to die.
     
  4. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    Stop having the discussion on their terms.
     
  5. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    There is a stark difference between constructive criticism and criticsm out of personal, emotional and ideological reasons.

    Constructive criticism is vital for the sake of progress and improvement; there is no zoo that could not benefit from it (including mine).

    Unprofessional critique solely based on emotions, ideology and personal motives doesn't improve anything. A factual discussion with such critics won't get you anywhere.

    For the sake of progress and peace of mind, we should listen more carefully to the constructive critics and tune out the noisy ideological ones.
     
    Last edited: 30 Dec 2021
  6. Paleoarchontas

    Paleoarchontas Well-Known Member

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    I think it’s interesting that Blackfish was brought up here, as while the documentary is technically correct in terms of the data it provides, and as @MonkeyBat previously stated orcas simply don’t do well in captivity, the documentary doesn’t simply portray the facts and let the viewer decide what to think, it forces you to side with the filmmakers, which in ordinary circumstances would be fair enough. However, as was also stated, the show overlooks SeaWorld’s conservation efforts and all the species they keep that actually do relatively well in captivity. This puts the viewer, especially those less familiar with the details of animals and zoological institutions, in a position where they can easily jump the statement to apply to virtually and zoo or species and still have a major justification for their argument. While I acknowledge Blackfish is a well made documentary from a filmmaking perspective, and I admit to not being the biggest fan of SeaWorld, largely due to their lack of accreditation and stance as a profit-based organisation, the message that the documentary inadvertently puts forward and allows to be carried by people who really don’t know what they’re talking about could prove to be quite damaging to the true nature of zoos, and likely already has done.
     
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  7. Bengal Tiger

    Bengal Tiger Well-Known Member

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    As @MonkeyBat mentioned, I will have to say that roadside zoos are a serious issue, as a general rule, I choose to visit zoos only accredited by one of the zoo and aquarium associations. I do understand that there are some decent zoos without accreditation, though those are on the other side of the world. I do truly believe that roadside zoos are a serious issue, and I wish something would be done to stop them.
     
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  8. LionTamarin

    LionTamarin Well-Known Member

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    I feel like I need to bring this up: SeaWorld's orcas are fine.

    None of the trainers that were interviewed in Blackfish even worked with Tilikum, except for Dawn Brancheau (RIP) who was drowned by Tilikum three years before the film came out.

    The film also heavily implies that SeaWorld starves their animals. Here's a quote from SeaWorld that completely debunks it: “This implication is false. Tilikum arrived at SeaWorld weighing 7,700 pounds, and currently weighs 12,000 pounds. SeaWorld has never deprived Tilikum of food for any reason, training or otherwise. Prior to Tilikum’s arrival at SeaWorld and continuing to this day, SeaWorld has only utilized operant conditioning, a scientific method that professional animal trainers have used for decades. Through rigorous efforts, trainers gradually increase the frequency of desired animal behavior, and minimize the occurrence of undesirable behavior, by encouraging the former with “positive reinforcement” and ignoring (and thereby discouraging) the latter. Punishment is never part of operant conditioning, and punishment is never employed at SeaWorld. SeaWorld pioneered and is the recognized world’s leader in the use of operant conditioning principles for the training of killer whales.”

    They also make the claim that orcas don't attack people in the wild. That's ridiculously untrue. Orcas are wild animals, and attacks have been recorded in the wild. If an animal attacked people in captivity, then it would definitely attack a person in the wild that got too close.

    Blackfish also implies that they constantly separate the mother from her calf. Yes, they do separate them, but only in extreme conditions.

    I'm sure some that have been to SeaWorld have noticed that the males have collapsed dorsal fins. Many people claim that it's because they're sad and that it doesn't happen in the wild. It can totally happen in the wild, and a collapsed dorsal fin does not impact the orca's health in any way.

    Orcas also rake each other, which Blackfish implies is because they're upset. Raking is completely normal, and is a way of showing dominance.

    Overall, SeaWorld does its best to care for its animals, they love them like their kids. They love them, they play with them to stimulate them 24/7. SeaWorld no longer captures orcas from the wild, and a majority of SeaWorld's orcas were born at SeaWorld. Releasing the orcas to the wild wouldn't be ethical, as they've lived in captivity almost their whole life, and wouldn't know how to survive in the wild.

    Here's my source: What’s Wrong With Blackfish?

    Overall, just look at both sides of an argument before jumping to conclusions.

    And yes, @Bengal Tiger, I agree that roadside zoos are something that needs to be fixed, especially Surabaya Zoo.
     
  9. IndianRhino

    IndianRhino Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree with most of what you said @LionTamarin. Another thing is that wild orcas live to be up to 100 which has not been proven. Yes, captive orcas don’t seem to live as long as their wild counterparts do but that does not mean SeaWorld isn’t caring for them properly. Take Corky for example, she’s well over 50 years old and is doing completely fine under their care. Yes she is wild born but she has spent the majority of her life in captivity (even though some of it wasn’t at SeaWorld). Ulises and Katina are also both on the “older” side and are both doing pretty well too. If we are talking about captive born orcas, none of them have lived past 40 I believe but several like Orkid, Kyuquot, and Takara are 30 and above and are thriving. Personally, I really wish SeaWorld wasn’t forced to end their breeding program as I don’t think orcas are “sad” or “trapped” in captivity because there really is no evidence that they are besides the claims of PETA and other animal activist groups…

    Anyway that being said, there are already multiple threads and discussions on Blackfish and orcas in captivity so I think this thread should focus more on PETA and roadside zoos so we don’t have another duplicate.
     
  10. TigerStripe

    TigerStripe Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely 100 percent disagree with the way that Roadside Zoos work, but I do think that non-AZA accredited zoos are helpful. Obviously, I don’t agree with certain non-AZA accredited zoos, but I do believe they can serve a good purpose. They can take in surplus mammals, and certain non-AZA zoos have had major roles in breeding, such as Salisbury Zoo with Andean Bears e.t.c. I think as long as enclosures and animal care is up to AZA standards, I see no reason why they should not exist. Roadside Zoos however, yes should definitely not exist. I definitely think the phrases ‘Roadside Zoo’ and ‘Non-AZA Accredited Zoo’ should be separated, because they are vastly different: one being an abusive zoo and the other being a zoo without AZA membership.
    Anyway, this is my opinion, please don’t attack me :p
     
  11. LionTamarin

    LionTamarin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, some non-accredited zoos, like Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, do a pretty good job at caring for their animals. But yes, some non-accredited zoos aren't very good (couldn't think of any examples in the US).
     
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  12. IndianRhino

    IndianRhino Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree with that. Pittsburgh, Montgomery, Great Plains, Metro Richmond, and now Columbus are all more examples of non-AZA zoos but all are far from roadside zoos.
     
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  13. LionTamarin

    LionTamarin Well-Known Member

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    Also, what do you guys think about elephant captivity?

    Elephants have been very controversial to keep in captivity, and yes, while some zoos (like the Alaska Zoo) didn't do a very good job caring for their elephant, some, like the Woodland Park Zoo, weren't doing much wrong, and they could've restarted their elephant program when Bamboo & Chai passed away. But no, animal rights extremists won and forced WPZ to relocate their elephants. And now they're mad since they were sent to another zoo (Oklahoma City Zoo, which has a large herd and lots of space to roam) instead of a sanctuary.

    I mean, Point Defiance Zoo is still keeping their elephant, despite her exhibit-mate passing away in 2020. The keepers do their best to care for their animals, and every animal rights group bashes them for still keeping Suki.
     
  14. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    Great Plains is AZA as far as I can tell.
     
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  15. IndianRhino

    IndianRhino Well-Known Member

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    I hate to burst your bubble but most of the topics you’re bringing up have already been heavily discussed elsewhere on ZC. I suggest you search for the “IDA’s Top 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants” threads, there should be one for every year for the last couple years besides 2021, of course. I doubt anyone on here is against elephants in captivity though.
    Huh, you’re right, I just searched it up. I don’t know why I thought they weren’t…
     
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  16. LionTamarin

    LionTamarin Well-Known Member

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    I mean, one of the main reasons elephant captivity is so controversial is because of an incident in 1994 in Honolulu where Tyke, an African Elephant, rampaged through the streets of Honolulu before being shot to death by police. She was abused by her caretakers and ended up killing her trainer, Allen Campbell, during her rampage, along with injuring Dallas Beckwith, her groomer.

    But most zoos actually care about their animals, and circuses don't really have animals anymore.
     
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  17. cloudedleopard611

    cloudedleopard611 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing gets my blood boiling quite like anti-zoo people. I can't even look at comments of zoo videos because they're always going to be in there spewing nonsense and it makes me irrationally angry.