[Taxacom] Killing of zoo giraffe to avoid inbreeding
Nicholasa at ukzn.ac.za
Mon Feb 10 14:05:58 CST 2014
I am fundamentally opposed to zoos on an emotional and moral level -- but I have seen the great impact they can have on the young in getting them interested in biology. I am conflicted as to which is the best stance to take but am inclined to go for their educational role at the moment. I have seen animals in zoos I would never be able to see otherwise (as I do not have the time and resources) and come away every time saying to myself WOW what a great profession I have -- especially when I see phylogenetic connections fall into place on close observation of the holistic gestalt of the animal (or plant).
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] on behalf of JF Mate [aphodiinaemate at gmail.com]
Sent: 10 February 2014 21:46
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Killing of zoo giraffe to avoid inbreeding
Well, if we are truly serious and logical about conservation we would
do away with zoos altogether, as they are nothing more than a
historical left-over, and instead do conservation in situ. Or at the
very least, zoos should work on local species. More bang for our buck.
But, zoos are also marketing for conservation, and in this respect
Copenhagen Zoo handled the affair rather poorly.
On 10 February 2014 20:37, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:
>> And let me add. Many zoos and sanctuaries for that matter have become
>> warehouses of geriatric and surplus animals solely because the public
>> cannot handle that we sometimes need to kill an exotic animal that is
>> healthy. As a result, valuable breeding programs for endangered species
>> are on hold because of it to the point that the only way to restart
>> those programs once there is space again is to get fresh wild caught
>> animals because there are no healthy reproducing animals left, or the
>> few remaining are too related. In some species, prolonged suppression of
>> the natural cycles to prevent breeding causes problems down the road
>> such as infertility. Does this all sound absurd? Yes, it does, because
>> at this moment, we have let out emotions (which is individual centered)
>> overrule what is best for the species. If we are serious about zoos as a
>> tool in conservation, we need to make the decision based on what is best
>> for the species, and not emotions surrounding a single individual.
>> On 2/10/2014 1:21 PM, Ken Kinman wrote:
>>> Dear All, As you may have heard, a young giraffe at the Copenhagen
>>> Zoo was killed yesterday in order to avoid inbreeding. That despite
>>> offers from other zoos to rehome him. Although I can understand the
>>> zoo's rationalization, I don't understand what harm would have come from
>>> shipping him off to another zoo if he would be a zoo display animal (not
>>> a breeder).
>>> Anyway, I guess this is common practice in zoos to avoid
>>> inbreeding in other mammals. However, displaying the dead animal
>>> to a crowd (including children), much less reportedly cutting it
>>> up in front of said crowd, was probably very unwise. Especially a
>>> young giraffe. But on the other hand, death threats against zoo
>>> officials certainly are not called for. In any case, I suppose a
>>> civil debate is in order about just how strict a zoo's inbreeding
>>> protocol should be in such cases (as well as the displaying of
>>> such a dead animal in public).
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> Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.
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