Your opinion on Zoos

I ask because I work at the zoo, and lately we have been getting a lot of flak over an incident that occurred with one of our youngest animals. Our male reticulate giraffe calf, of whom was born on September 9th, 2015, unfortunately passed away.

He was very playful and excited, and was galloping around a new exhibit that was made for him in the new African Adventures expansion, and he ran into the fence, snapping his neck and killing him instantly.

I’m honestly heart broken. It’s very sad, and nothing like this has happened before. I was starting to let it go, when another incident occurred.

At zoos across the world, capybaras (think giant guinea pigs) are paired in exhibits with anteaters. This is do to their peaceful coexistence with each other, and the fact that they don’t compete for food.

It’s unknown how it occurred, but one of our oldest capybaras got into a fight with the anteater. The anteater won. Anteater have large talons that are used primarily for breaking into massive ant hills, and it used those effectively in its fight with the capybara. Nothing like this has ever happened at the zoo, and both of these incidents occurred over the span of one week.

Fortunately most of the feedback from the public has been positive, and I’m very greatful for that. We take very good care of our animals, myself included, and this is honestly very disheartening.

So I ask, what’s your honest opinion on zoos? I don’t know why I’m asking this. Maybe I’m just looking for some reassurance or closure or something? I don’t know, I’m not good at emotion stuffs.

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It’s so cute. D:

It is. I loved watching him run around and play. Such a sweet little guy… I’ve fed him before too. I was so sad to hear about what had happened.

It happens. Zoos (like everything else in the universe) are not perfect, there are problems with safety, care, happiness, finances, etc.
Things like this happen, but it’s now what happens, it’s what you do because of it is what matters.
The anteater fighting the capybara hasn’t happened before, but now that it has, not others can learn why it happened, and learn to prevent it.
The baby ran into the fence, so next time you have such a playful animal, try to keep him/her closer to the center and away from the walls when playing.
Remember, dwelling on the past will only do harm, learning from it benefits everyone.

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To be honest I always get kind of depressed when I go to some zoos. Especially the ones with small or isolated havitats. I just wonder what it would be like to have random people coming to look at you in your tiny little box, trying to get you to do something for their enjoyment.

However, the Zoos that have large, open enclosures are great. Especially when they are successful at mixing species.

Don’t most zoos have really big enclosures for the animals? I’ve only been to one once, and it was in India, and the animals were all happy enough. And India isn’t known for quality. ;p

both of those incidents are tragic. but personally, i loathe zoos. animals are born into captivity and watched by a dominant species for pleasure.n
it is disgusting to me, but hey, whatever pays the bills

by no means am i trying to offend zoo workers, unless you build zoos -_-

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Depends. Some reptile and smaller animal enclosures are literally glass cases.

Strangely, there was a giraffe calf that passed away recently in my local zoo.
It’s sad that these things happen and while I don’t agree with everything zoo’s do, they play a large part in the conservation of some species, which is good in my eyes. I just wish more people would realize how much damage humans are doing to the world.

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Was that the Dallas zoo incident? I’m terribly sorry for your loss.

No, Belfast zoo. It was a Rothschild’s giraffe too, they’re pretty endangered. By recently, I meant this year btw, incase of confusion.

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No, I totally understand. Not everyone agrees with zoos, and I’m okay with that.

Zoos are made to protect endangered species, and to help teach others about them and how amazing of creatures they are. They have to make money somehow.

I can safely say that we take very good care of our animals. We put the safety and happiness of our animals first, and these were both terrible incidents that should have never occurred. We’re currently looking into what exactly happened between the capybara and anteater, and ways that we can make the giraffe enclosure safer for calfs in the future.

A couple weeks ago the same thing that happened to our calf happened to another in Dallas.

I’m still terribly sorry for your loss.

It is quite sad. As far as i’m aware the staff were devastated.

Life goes on I guess.

I consider zoos a necessary evil. While I don’t like animals penned up for life, were it not for zoos, a lot of conservation would not be had for species int he wild. It’s similar with hunting. While I’m not a fan of hunting for non-food reasons, hunters pay big bucks to protect large swaths of land for hunting which helps prevent human encroachment into their habitat. Were it not for zoos, a LOT of people would have no clue how awesome animals are or how special they are. At my zoo, Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, I will never forget one time I heard kids say they never saw cows in real life before in their child’s petting zoo farm exhibit. I’m like…are you serious? Then I realize, a lot of kids and adults alike have little to no experience with animals of any kind, domestic or not.

We recently had our Ray exhibit closed due to the unfortunate death of 50-some rays, an accident due to mechanical failure keeping the water oxygenated. We also had a wolf shot when a zoo patron decided to climb a fence to pet the wolf. It held her by the arm and first responders had to act. Stupid human failure. Then again, several years ago there was a child that fell into a Gorilla exhibit in England…and that became a huge media sensation when one of the gorillas, the silverback, protected the child from the other gorillas:


and even in my Brookfield zoo something similar happened:

(I loathe the gorilla habitat here, BTW)
People learn from accidents and correct their errors, putting up new, better, safer enclosures. They give the animals more stimulation. But there will never be 100% safety for either side, but the trade off is that people learn to love animals, and animals in turn can be fostered and saved in the wild. When people know nothing about animals, they can’t respect how precious they are.

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That 2nd video’s exhibit is awful! Man, that reminds me of how the bears of our zoo were treated a few decades ago.

Brookfield Zoo has been making tremendous strides into their exhibits, with huge open spaces and glass enclosures to allow for great viewing, and recently redid their entire wolf and bear facilities and they are beautiful…but for some reason, the Ape house hasn’t gotten much attention, even after this incident occurred. Oh sure they now have catch nets to prevent people from falling in…but no major renovations. I hate this exhibit. It depresses me how little green there is for the apes, especially the gorillas. All grey dead branches, for such intelligent animals. It’s very sad. I truly hope this changes in the future.

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I don’t mind zoos, but I don’t like a lot of aquariums

Like most of these comments, I have mixed feelings. The very idea of a zoo seems innocuous, sort of like a museum. But at the same time both of these things can be harmful. Breeding/taking wild animals in confinement halfway across the world from their natural habitats for the entertainment of humans seems kind of sadistic, but the conservation efforts of some zoos cannot be denied. They have saved many an animals life, especially in cases where people irresponsibly acquire “exotic pets” with no clue how to care for them.

Museums tour exhibits of fine works of art, historical artifacts , and curiosities of ages past, but it is hard to ignore the glaring mark of conquest and empire on some of these exhibits. People’s ancestral burial sites/tombs dug up even in the recent past, to be transported away and shown as curiosities to foreigners with no intent of return. Both of these institutions are rife with opportunities for moral examination, I’m only glad this was even brought up as a topic.

Reminds me of our otter exhibit. I hate it. I’ve been talking with people this whole last year about getting it redone, but we’ve had all of our focus put into our African Adventures expansion.

That was just released however, so hopefully we can start focusing on some of our previous exhibits more.

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