Thursday, June 2, 2016

Zoos... and animal sanctuaries

Z. & Wombat

When I go on vacation with my love it is usually to a museum or to chase animal experiences. I don't mean visiting zoos (only zoos I've ever been impressed with were open air zoos like Singapore's zoo and the Steve Irwin zoo). We typically find animal interactions at animal sanctuary and our vacation money goes to supporting the little critters.

People have mixed feelings on zoos. Locking animals in cages is a terrible thing I won't argue that but they serve a purpose. You, my Pretty ones might not need to see an animal to know its value to the world but that's not so with everyone. There's much cruelty toward are furred (& non-furred) friends.
Zoos and animal sanctuaries help the animals with public relations.

((This baby tiger helped a woman to convince her grandfather to stop using tiger bones. This sanctuary for the tigers helps the community see that LIVE tigers bring in more money than DEAD. In Thailand, the Tiger Temple is giving locals jobs, improving the economy with tourism as well as educating the masses... even as they fight the negative spin the local government has tried to give  the monks help stop poaching >>> cutting into the bribes given the officials. How do I know this: I was there.))

Once someone sees a beautiful creature and has experienced the intelligence in their eyes it becomes more difficult to turn away from their plight. It's an easier sell to convince people not to kill, harm, wear, destroy habits if they feel connected to the animals affected.

Baby Sloth

Baby Sloths love technology
 I've literally traveled the world in search of animal interactions. We research and pick well rated sanctuary who are fighting to preserve, educate and save the animals in their area.

Costa Rica
Mei Wei & Z.

When I visit a zoo or a sanctuary it is MY responsibility to understand the risks to myself and the animals. Usually I meet babies who lost their mammas and are simply in need of love or adults that have injuries preventing them from returning to the wild.

Have I been hurt. Yuppers. I can honestly say baby tiger bites HURT. (I was crying before I understood where the pain started) But it was my fault. I didn't have my back to the wall and tigers stalk prey from behind. I was also scratched and bitten by a baby panda. Snapped at by ostriches and licked by a giraffe.

College friend & Z.

 Money talks. Vote with your dollars...

In poorer communities it's easier to kill than to protect. Long-term consequences and animal welfare aren't higher than making sure your kids have food. Animal sanctuary's like Wolong Panda Reserve (now gone due to an earthquake & rebuilt in Chengdu) stopped farmers from shooting the pandas who were eating their crops by hiring the farmers to grow bambooo and employing people in their community.
When pandas attack (I couldn't stop laughing after he knocked me down) Panda Master was yelling, "Up! Up!"

Well fed Komodo Dragon... there were 3 handlers w/ shields

There can be a downside. When this picture was taken in 1998... I thought I'd asked the right questions of Sea World. As a resident of California for 6 months we were VIP members of Sea World. It wasn't until Black Fish came out that we found out how abusive their practices were to the animals (Watch the documentary if you have any questions... but be warned it's harsh.)
Will I continue to chase animal experiences: Yeah.  I will continue to be careful and  only support positive animal organizations.

 Zoos and animal sanctuaries may not be your deal but I promise you they have a purpose and many animals both living in captivity and in the wild depend on them.     Hugs, Z. Allora                                                          

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