Thursday, July 23, 2015
Freaks in Zoos
Freaks in Zoos
I don't like zoos exhibiting freaks. They make me ashamed of parts of the industry in which I love and work. Zoos are about conservation breeding and education they are not some 18th Century sideshow where the Bearded Lady and the Dog Faced Man sit alongside the Six Legged Sheep and Three Eyed Goat.
People don't like me using the word 'Freak' so it is worth dealing with that definition first:
Wikipedia - "Freak" continues to be used to describe genetic mutations in plants and animals, i.e. "freaks of nature."
The Free Dictionary - An abnormally formed organism, especially one regarded as a curiosity.
Merriam Webster - a person or animal having a physical oddity and appearing in a circus sideshow
Oxford Dictionary - A person, animal, or plant with an unusual physical abnormality
So my use of the word in connection with White Tigers, White Lions, White Alligators, Two Headed Snakes and Turtles is entirely correct.
There is no question about it...All of such "abnormally formed organisms" can, will and do occur in nature. That is nature. The vast majority of such physically disadvantages creatures are unlikely to survive too long. If they live to old age in the wild then I for one would be both happy and just a bit amazed.
Such freaks also occur in captivity and I have no problem with that if they are naturally occurring. Let them live, let them play a part in education. Their quality of life needs to be seriously assessed however and euthanasia must be an option. Keeping physically disadvantaged animals alive and on show just to get people in through the gate can be both cruel and wrong..
Claims that such creatures will be raising money for 'conservation' should be given serious investigation.....does even one cent actually ever go to conservation?
Where things go really wrong in my world is when 'freaks' are deliberately bred with other freaks or closely related animals to produce yet more freaks. This is clearly the case with White Tigers and Lions and other freak mutations. These animals are conservationally useless. What these Dysfunctional Zoos are doing is very very wrong. All they are concerned about is getting more money in their coffers regardless of whatever argument they put forward to justify their sins.
Then there are the collections which go out of their way to purchase freaks to put on display. Such collections, to me, instantly slot themselves into the Dysfunctional Zoo category. One wonders just what they are going to come up with next? The bearded lady?