Monday, March 17, 2008

Birds in Zoos

Cookie, a 74-year-old Major Mitchell's cockatoo, bites into an apple at the Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
I read an AP article today, Time to Put That Gorilla on a Diet , about a new focus on diet and nutrition needs for zoo animals. This prompted me to add a poll to my blog asking for readers' opinions of keeping animals in zoos.

I personally stopped going to zoos about 9 years ago after I became depressed looking at the caged animals. I began to notice how many of the little primates were huddled together in a corner, some of them covering their eyes in what to me seemed to be fear - fear of being seen or fear of what they were seeing? I looked harder at the birds, many of whom flew back and forth, back and forth, within their confined space. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide. I thought how cruel to keep these animals penned up. These birds need to soar free. The monkeys and big cats, the bears and so many other animals need to roam free. But I felt especially strongly about the birds.

A couple of years ago I volunteered at the Pelican Man Sanctuary which did rescue and rehab work on birds and a few other non-avian animals. As I wandered through the walkways seeing all the birds that could not be released back to the wild, I felt good that they had a place to live and be well tended. But I seriously wondered some times about the quality of their lives.

1 comment:


Freedom for Birds.
Birds visit my garden.
I've posted about this subject.