Private zoos/wild animal parks

Becky - posted on 10/19/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

2,892

44

93

I imagine a lot of you have heard this story out of Ohio today.
http://news.yahoo.com/lions-tigers-shot-...

What do you think of private zoos or animal parks like this one? Should they be legal? Do they need stricter regulations, if so?

My thoughts, they should not be legal at all. For one, because of freaks like the guy in this story. For two, I don't feel there is the same level of regulation that there is on bigger zoos and there is huge potential for animal abuse. There is one here in Alberta - probably more than one, but one that I know of, a couple hours from here, where there are allegations of animal abuse and mistreatment. He was supposed to get shut down but somehow managed to fight that. I just don't think that's right.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Sherri - posted on 10/20/2011

9,593

15

391

@Lisa you would report them to the local Animal control or police. They would have to investigate.

Jenn - posted on 10/21/2011

675

1

47

It wouldn't be legal in most states anyway...Ohio didn't have any laws in place to protect exotic animals and that guy had a criminal record! This story just pisses me off and breaks my heart for all those animals, including endangered Bengal tigers. WTF!! He knew they would be killed when he let them go. Coward. Grrr.

I don't even like circuses. Most zoos these days are much better and do well to improve the species they keep and breed, but they are regulated and monitored. Private zoos and "reserves" do not fully protect the animals.

Jennifer - posted on 10/20/2011

714

1

28

I have very mixed feelings about it. One the one hand, people who keep wild animals correctly have expanded our knowledge and help to conserve these animals in the wild. Much of our genetic knowledge comes from pet owners, and zoos are not able to keep enough animals to conserve genetic diversity. Private 'collectors' help the scientific community. Plus, I'd love to be able to own a few large cats someday, and hate that it could be outlawed due to stupid people. I can't right now, I have no space to put them, not near enough money to feed them, and even though it is not illegal in the small town I live in, it is still STUPID to try.

On the other hand- I've worked with many rescues and seen first hand how awful some of these animals are treated. Not to mention how moronic people can be! We actually caught a young man with a COBRA as a pet. In an apartment building. The reason we found out- he was reported by a friend who knew the snake had escaped several times!! How scary is that?? Or my 'friend' who goes to exotic animal auctions, picks up the latest fad, breeds it, then sells them again! I've know her 3 years, she never has less than 12 animals, and never has any of them for more than 6 months!!

I'm not sure what needs to be done, but stricter rules and better inforcement would be a start. It still floors me that any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy a Rottwieler(my breed of choice, but not easy dogs!) let alone order an Anacanda on the internet for less than $100!

15 Comments

View replies by

Janice - posted on 10/28/2011

1,890

18

63

I definitely dont think all zoos are bad. Most the very of the big ones really do have habitats that are appropriate. I definitely understand what your saying Jen but I'm really glad I can take my daughter to places like the Bronx Zoo. She loves it!

Becky - posted on 10/27/2011

2,892

44

93

A lot of zoos have conservation and breeding programs to help improve the populations among endangered species though.

[deleted account]

I'm personally against zoos in general. I think a good number of them exist solely for people to ooh-ahh over animals. The vast majority do not have habitats that are even remotely close to the wild and that is cruel. Yes, some species may die out in the wild without even human involvement but that is life, that is how it works. I don't need to be in a nebula to know what one is or how it works. I say that because a big excuse for zoos is that kids wont' learn about animals otherwise. This argument fails mainly because it assumes children are too stupid to understand any concept in a book. I can learn a lot about komodo dragons without needing to gawk at one through a glass wall.

Janice - posted on 10/25/2011

1,890

18

63

This is so tragic. Its a shame they weren't able to tranquelize and save more animals. Laws regarding the ownership of wild animals need to be much, much stricter!

There is a place an hour away from where I live called "Animal Land." I absolutely hate that place. I have been there twice because it was a scheduled field trip for the summer camp I worked at. The animals are in tiny enclosures and its obvious they are miserable. The worst is two giraffes in a pen about the length and width of their height that has zero tree in it! I'm completely appalled by that place and its sad knowing people pay to go there. I personally would never bring my own children.

Minnie - posted on 10/20/2011

7,076

9

788

I hate them. The town over from where I grew up has one called the Ashville Game Farm. Hundreds of exotic species are packed so close together. The big cats don't have any space to move and the large ungulates trod around and around in mud/feces. Last year a lemur reached out and bit a child and all of the lemurs were destroyed because the county feared rabies. The year before THAT a tiger escaped and roamed through people's backyards.



And near the area in VT there is a bird 'sanctuary' that houses hundreds upon hundreds of birds. The small passerine species are in a greenhouse- it was over a hundred degrees in there with cages stacked two and three deep, water dishes dry. The eagles were in small enclosures crafted from recycled materials, about five feet high. The water in the falcon's enclosures was mouldy. The branches in the macaw cages were covered with half an inch of beak rubbings scum. The emus and ostriches walked in their own feces and mud. No grass to pick and eat bugs in.



It doesn't seem to me that there are any regulations. I searched and tried to find who I would report such things to and I didn't come to any conclusions.

JuLeah - posted on 10/20/2011

3,133

38

694

This is part of the bigger picture. We judge a society by how they treat their disenfranchised. By that standard, our culture fails completely.

What happens in the foster care system? How do we care for our elders? Have we yet shut down the practice of human trafficking? Laws are being passed that make domestic violence not worth the courts time. We destroy the homes of these animals; we hunt them for their tusks and for their skins. We have millions of stray animals starving in our streets (yes, humans too) We won’t solve this problem unless we view it from the larger perspective.

It is as if we patch holes in a dam when the spurting water catches our attention. We spend a lot of time and money to patch the hole that caught our eye this week and took our attention from the hole that caught our attention last week.

What we need to do it step back and look at the entire dam; it is flawed, it is broken. It needs to be replaced or maybe just taken down.

It’s a big project and if undertaken many would lose the money they currently make off of tusks, skins, and child porn. But ….

Karla - posted on 10/20/2011

1,555

48

99

Laura, I did know the general situation, but I didn't know the details about the man such as was he mentally ill, or desperate to find a way to deal with an overwhelming situation. From what I've seen of the report today, it almost sounds as though he wasn't thinking of the animals' well being at all; it really appears he did it as retribution to ex-wife and the government.



Even though he "set them free" I'd rather the reports say he "released restraints" since the animals were not "freed" at all. He may as well have killed them himself since that's what his actions required of local officials.



It's a very sad situation.



http://abcnews.go.com/US/animals-loose-o...

Sherri - posted on 10/20/2011

9,593

15

391

I find at least locally they are run FAR better and the animals better taken care of compared to the larger zoos. The animals get more attention are so much happier, the bigger zoos the large animals are pacing and you can just see how sad and miserable they are.

Just so you know the smaller zoos are regulated and have to have permits to be able to be in operation as well. Well I know locally at least.

Isobel - posted on 10/20/2011

9,849

0

286

Karla, the owner set all his animals free, then shot himself. They had to kill almost all the animals as they were VERY dangerous and tranquilizing at night proved too difficult

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/20/2011

21,273

9

3058

This hurts my heart deeply. I just wish they either used more than one tranquilizer per animal, or tried a better rescue attempt of them. What a loss. I know some animals were charging, but they were scared and confused. I think it could have been organized differently in attempt to save these animals lives. We will never know though.

Karla - posted on 10/20/2011

1,555

48

99

I'm not really clear as to what happened there, but it sounds like the ban on buying and selling exotic animals made it impossible for the owner to sell his stock. On the other hand he was obviously distressed or he wouldn’t have taken his own life, so I wonder if his compromised mental state was the reason for letting the animals out of their cages. It was very sad, whatever the case.

Bottom line, this case is not the norm. I have mixed feeling about these independent exotic animal owners. If it’s a refuge, than I think it’s good, but as a general rule I prefer to allow animals to stay in their natural environment .

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms