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Zoos selling animals to the public.

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by LaughingDove, 6 Oct 2014.

  1. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Hello All.
    I was wondering what you views are on zoos selling their animals to the general public. I haven't seen any zoos recently doing this but last summer (2013) I visited the Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre near the Welsh border (this place may have a diffent name but I don't realy remember exactly what it was called) There were a number of geese for sale and a number of mice all of which were bred at the centre. There were for sale to anyone in the general public interested in buying them. I thought this was quite unusual because I had never seen live animals in a zoo for sale before in a "western zoo". However in fayfa which is an theme park/zoo/pet shop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia all the animals are for sale. I won't go into too much detail about this place now because I plan to write a bit more about it once a Saudi Arabia forum is created but it is a strange building with a large courtyard in the middle. In the building is a normal pet shop and indoor plant centre but in the large central courtyard there are a number of rides as well as along the back, a row of very small concrete floored cages with metal bars. They were extremely small with no stimulation for animals or shelter from the heat. And only a few times longer or wider than the animal itself. (No pictures I'm afraid, could hardly sltomach visiting the horrendous place). Anyway back to my point all of these animals were for sale. Some notable species that passed through fayfa (animals didn't stay too long, they were usually sold or died): sun bear, spotted hyeana, nile crocodile, arabian gazelle, an assortment of african vultures, caracals, brown bears that I suspect were the syrian subspecies, a medium sized macropod that I suspect was a juvenile grey kangaroo and more. (Most of these animals would have been illegally wild caught somewhere but I will fill you in more when a Saudi forum is made)
    What are your views on zoos selling animals. Obviously the conditions the animals are kept in and the sourcing at fayfa is bad but what about the concept of selling them.
    -LaughingDove:)
     
  2. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Personally I am ok with zoos selling animals that are normally sold as pets. Petting zoo selling rabbits or mice etc. But I am against the idea of everything in a zoo being for sale. Imagine if a large zoo like london for example put all of their animale on sale.:eek:
     
  3. cleusk

    cleusk Well-Known Member

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    Local zoos selling their animals to the general public is nothing new. It took place as early as the 1800s. The selling usually took place during bad economic times when the local governments that owned the zoos decided to make budget cuts in the name of austerity. Animals were sold to taxidermists to be stuffed. There were also those who wanted them to make coats or rugs. So it wasn't always a case of the buyer wanting one for a pet.
     
  4. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

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    London Zoo of course sold Jumbo the elephant to PT Barnum.

    Even with mainstream zoos today there is quite a trade going on in the buying and selling of bird and reptiles with reputable private breeders. However money is exchanged simply because it is the medium of exchange, and I doubt if the need to make a "profit" is ever a consideration in these transactions, at least from the zoos point of view. However Joe Public can't turn up and say "I want two of those, please".
     
  5. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure this really can be discussed on a worldwide basis as there are massive differences in law depending on the country, especially when it comes to large and medium sized non-domesticated mammals. In USA, there are quite large privately held populations of many mammals (big cats, larger and medium-sized primates, antilope, etc) that often can't be legally owned by members of the general public in Western Europe (see e.g. this). This means that zoos in much of Western Europe really can't sell their large and medium sized non-domesticated mammals even if they had wanted to. As far as I can understand, selling surplus is a bit of a sensitive subject among American zoos and those that do or have done it keep quiet. However, I doubt any major American zoo deliberately breed with the intent of earning money from animal sales and guess this could result in exclusion from AZA.

    When it comes to domestic mammals and smaller non-mammalian animals, the border between zoos and privates is far less strict. Both in North America and Europe. I would much prefer zoos keeping any excess domestics for feeding their predators instead of selling them to the public. This may be controversial but I think it can be defended ethically: Predators have to eat and a domestic animal kept in a zoo will usually have had a better life than one from a farm, which is where zoos usually have to get the meat.
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2014
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    If that were the case I would have spent what little money I have when Edinburgh decided to give most of their decent stuff the boot ;)
     
  7. Monty

    Monty Well-Known Member

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    Some zoos had to buy animals from private owners to prevent inbreeding of their small populations. Why then should animals not go the other way to private a large and genetically diverse healthy population.

    Dubbo Zoo had to buy in Blackbuck Antelopes from a game farm in Victoria as the zoos Blackbuck were inbred. They have also sold animals to other breeders.

    Zoos refusing to deal with other breeders and limiting animals to their club, leads to inbreeding and eventual loss of the species.
     
  8. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I would prefer any surplus domestic animals to be sold/rehomed to people who would look after them properly rather than feeding them to carnivores, but that is just my opinion.
     
  9. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    Let's take an example: goats. If a zoo has lots of goats and some of those are excess, you would prefer them to sell it.

    Then the next day they have to feed the zoo's leopards. They go to a slaughterhouse and buy meat from a goat, which may well have had a life on a farm that was not as good as the zoo goat they sold the day before. Because of slaughterhouse laws, they may also struggle to get intestines, which contain many things predators need, instead forcing the zoo to artificially add vitamins and alike.

    If I understood this right, I'll admit that I can't follow this logic (economically or ethically).
     
  10. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    I don't wish to get into an argument about this, but yes if a zoo had excess goats, I would prefer them to be sold as pets rather than be killed for meat, they are zoo animals, not farm animals, if a zoo were to do this, here in the UK they would try and do it very discreetly, and if it did get out what had happened there would be protests from the public which would be bad publicity for the zoo, if they find themselves with an excess of animals then this is due to bad management of the zoo concerned, the same with breed to cull, I am also against that, again just my opinion.
     
  11. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Well-Known Member

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    Tropical Birdland near Leicester in the UK used to act as both a zoo, a rescue centre for unwanted pet parrots and a breeding centre for common parrot species for sale as pets; soon after entering, you walked past a window where the hand-reared chicks for sale were on view. I am not sure if they still do this though, their website seems to imply that the chicks in the viewing window are only for show. Whilst am not too comfortable with this ‘double life’ the place lead (or still leads), at least as experienced parrot keepers and breeders they vetted potential new owners thoroughly, and the sale of common birds as pets did help raise money for their breeding programmes of much rarer species, which they hope to eventually be able to release into the wild.

    Tropical Birdland
     
  12. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago, I went to a farm-cum-zoo near Harpenden. The information on each animal included the price they could be bought for. I was rather surprised to see parma wallabies on sale.
     
  13. Pacu

    Pacu Well-Known Member

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    I believe that UK law prevents any animals in a collection being fed to other animals in the collection, unless they are specifically raised for that purpose. So, if a zebra dies, it cannot be fed to the lions but I believe the carcus can be sold to another collection, subject to appropriate vet checks. I don't really see why a collection selling 'pet' species to the public is any different to a pet shop selling them but I do feel a bit odd about it when I see it, whether that is rational or not.
     
  14. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  15. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

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    Fife Animal Park done this a few months ago, got closed for terrible treatment.