Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, March 18, 2005

Stop the Senseless Killing?

I have mixed feeling about zoos. Given the phenomenal documentaries available about wildlife, I wonder if zoos are the best way to provide education and information for people who are curious about wildlife. And yet, there is nothing like up close and personal viewing of animals I would not otherwise see .

If there are to be zoos, I understand that there are good reasons to have the environment be as natural as possible for the animals, though I could be persuaded that a sheltered environment might be better for the animals.

What about food for the animals? Should zookeepers provide fresh-killed meat for the carnivores, or should the zoo be really natural, releasing old horses or oxen into the area for the lions and tigers to kill? From Reuters [link via Slate's Today's Papers],

Safari parks in China have agreed to stop feeding their lions and tigers large live animals such as horses -- at least in public.

The gory eating habits could lead visitors to believe that animals, both hunter and prey, were only human playthings, Xinhua news agency on Wednesday quoted Xie Youxin, the deputy general manager of the Wild Animal World in Chengdu, as saying.

"The bloody scene could also have implanted violent tendencies in youngsters," he said. ...

But the safari park agreement only restricts the release of large
domestic animals, such as oxen and horses, during the presence of visitors, the agency said.

"Feeding when the park is not open is permitted. Parks are allowed to continue to sell small birds for visitors to feed the wild beasts."

Maybe the zoos should put the lions and tigers on high-protein high-supplement soybean diets.
Who Links Here