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Uh, It Wasn't the Tiger's Fault

January 3, 2008 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
I’m about to write a true blog = yes, that's right, my own personal [opinionated] thoughts. Forget political correctness. I am irked.

I DO NOT CONDONE THE IDEA OF PUBLIC ZOOS. Public zoos should not exist. PERIOD. PER – I – OD.

Humans, I don’t care how educated, should not be allowed to take wild animals into captivity and place them in cages, pens or exhibits, no matter how elaborate or reflective of the animal’s natural habitat and force them to live in front of crowds of annoyingly, loud humans. There is nothing natural about a zoo.

A boy is dead and two others injured in a mishap at the San Francisco zoo on Christmas Day. I have been reserving my opinions in the hopes that I am wrong but I still am feeling pretty darn certain that those young men did something to taunt the tiger. Unless the tiger was injured or felt threatened it would do it’s best to avoid humans. That is fact. How many tigers have you seen at the zoo that run up to the front of their display, press their face against the bars, wag their tail and smile happily at you like a puppy in the pet store? Nada. None. Zip.

Guaranteed there will be much more truth to surface about the taunting speculation. The other two boys who somehow survived are not telling the truth.  Because of what they did, another boy is dead and so is an innocent, beautiful, endangered 4-year-old Siberian tiger. A tiger who never asked to be placed on display for human entertainment in an unnatural habitat thousands of miles from its homeland.

I am certain there are other ways to educate humans about endangered species and teach them how to appreciate, respect and help preserve nature than via public zoos.

Shame on proponents of public zoos. Shame on those boys. And, shame on us humans for tolerating such cruel, indifference to the life of wild animals.


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