Zoo Animals Think And Feel

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    Jul 04, 2014 3:40 AM GMT
    NYT: The ability to interpret animal behavior, Virga says, is a function of temperament, curiosity and, mostly, decades of practice. It is not, it turns out, especially easy. Do you know what it means when an elephant lowers her head and folds her trunk underneath it? Or when a zebra wuffles, softly blowing air between her lips; or when a colobus monkey snuffles, sounding a little like a hog rooting in the mud; or when a red fox screams, sounding disconcertingly like an infant; or when red fox kits chatter at one another; or when an African wild dog licks and nibbles at the lips of another; or when a California sea lion resting on the water’s surface stretches a fore flipper and one or both rear flippers in the air, like a synchronized swimmer; or when a hippopotamus “dung showers” by defecating while rapidly flapping its tail?

  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1604

    Jul 04, 2014 8:23 PM GMT
    It gave me a boost to see a story like this in such a prominent publication.

    I've actually been thinking about some of these issues lately...just pondering. It seems like the last few times I've visited zoos, around the country, there seems to be fewer animals and a much less diverse exhibition as well.

    I wonder if they're finally realizing how difficult it is to create a habitat that is both suitable for sentient beings and still be economically viable. These animals are feeling creatures, not commodities to be placed and traded and warehoused.

    For a visual narrative of some of Dr Virga's concerns, compare the treatment, and subsequent behavioral issues of Orcas in captivity...breaking up family units..trauma of capture and separation at young age, etc.

    I'll always speak out and boycott seaworld after seeing this film.