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Author Topic: Captivity vs. Danger of the wilderness  (Read 3272 times)
Pete Dimano
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« on: November 04, 2007, 09:44:14 AM »

Which animal is happier? 

The one who lives at the zoo, is given 4 animals to play with, is fed well on a regular basis, has great health care, and never worries about anything? 

Or the animal who lives in the wild, wandering across the continent seeing the world.  They miss meals, they risk being killed on a daily basis.  But they are free.

Which animal is happier?  Which would you rather be?
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 09:30:07 AM »


I would rather be the free animal and people stay off my land!!   Angry
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Geo
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 07:22:23 PM »

Which animal is happier? 

The one who lives at the zoo, is given 4 animals to play with, is fed well on a regular basis, has great health care, and never worries about anything? 

Or the animal who lives in the wild, wandering across the continent seeing the world.  They miss meals, they risk being killed on a daily basis.  But they are free.

Which animal is happier?  Which would you rather be?

last time I was at the zoo (about 6 years ago) I could'nt help but noticed how depressed all the animals looked (with the exception of some of the bears)......animals wer'nt made to be caged,I'm ok with animals that were recued from abusive situations though,,
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Butterbean
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 07:41:24 PM »

It's an interesting question and one I've wondered about.  Seems as though if they're in a fly zoo w/a huge acreage as their habitat that may be desirable.  But if they're in some small caged in area it seems like it'd be better to be completely free and probably live a shorter (but happier) life.
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temper35
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007, 10:46:05 AM »

There should be no zoo's.
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Vet
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2007, 11:19:07 AM »

There should be no zoo's.

Why?
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temper35
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2007, 01:54:01 PM »

Why?

Why should there be?  Most of the animals in zoo's are there for the entertainment of people.  Elephants were never meant to be trained.  I am sure all the cats at the new "Big Cat Falls" they built in my city's zoo would really prefer that to living in the wild.  Come on now, they are tigers not fucking cocker spaniels.
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emn1964
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2007, 03:06:15 PM »

Which animal is happier? 

The one who lives at the zoo, is given 4 animals to play with, is fed well on a regular basis, has great health care, and never worries about anything? 

Or the animal who lives in the wild, wandering across the continent seeing the world.  They miss meals, they risk being killed on a daily basis.  But they are free.

Which animal is happier?  Which would you rather be?

Is "happiness" an emotion that is exclusively human or do animals experience happiness and sadness?
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Vet
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2007, 07:08:48 PM »

Why should there be?  Most of the animals in zoo's are there for the entertainment of people.  Elephants were never meant to be trained.  I am sure all the cats at the new "Big Cat Falls" they built in my city's zoo would really prefer that to living in the wild.  Come on now, they are tigers not fucking cocker spaniels.

Lets see.... The mission of zoos has changed from "display" of the 1930s to a much broader one.  Most of the larger zoos (AZA or ZAOA accredited ---not some roadside shithole as an example) in North America have the goal of education---create an awareness of the world and the animals the live in that world.  Its that awareness that will hopefully lead to people making a conscious decision to take care of the world around them.  The second mission is research---to better understand wild populations by keeping detailed records on captive ones.  There has been tremendous amounts of information about animals that have come from zoos---from understanding progesterone cycles in elephants to dietary choices of chimpanzees. This all applies to wild populations.  The third mission is conservation.  This comes from the first two.  Its an unfortunate trait of human nature that they don't give a shit about things that aren't right under their nose.  And its that trait that leads to the "display" aspect of zoos.  Some of the best information and understanding comes from the "nonpublic" areas of most zoos.  Unfortunately, in order to have those, there has to be "public" areas also. 
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Vet
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2007, 07:14:18 PM »

Is "happiness" an emotion that is exclusively human or do animals experience happiness and sadness?

I personally think animals are capable of feeling that emotion--think of a dog chewing their bone or a tiger at a zoo chasing down and eating a mallard duck that got into its enclosure (I witnessed this at a zoo this spring) or an Asian rhino rolling in a mudhole or a warthog digging for tubers.  The problem with it is how humans interpret it.  Humans, in their own self appointed, self serving egotism tend to forgo every aspect of the animal they are looking at and anthropomorphising it based on their own personal thoughts and perceptions---humans don't like to forage for their food, animals shouldn't.  Humans don't like to be caged, animals shouldn't.  Humans don't like competition for reproduction, animals shouldn't.  Those types of thoughts are all a HUGE mistake in my opinion. 
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temper35
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 07:32:56 PM »

Lets see.... The mission of zoos has changed from "display" of the 1930s to a much broader one.  Most of the larger zoos (AZA or ZOAA accredidated---not some roadside shithole as an example) in North America have the goal of education---create an awareness of the world and the animals the live in that world.  Its that awareness that will hopefully lead to people making a conscious decision to take care of the world around them.  The second mission is research---to better understand wild populations by keeping detailed records on captive ones.  There has been tremendous amounts of information about animals that have come from zoos---from understanding progesterone cycles in elephants to dietary choices of chimpanzees. This all applies to wild populations.  The third mission is conservation.  This comes from the first two.  Its an unfortunate trait of human nature that they don't give a shit about things that aren't right under their nose.  And its that trait that leads to the "display" aspect of zoos.  Some of the best information and understanding comes from the "nonpublic" areas of most zoos.  Unfortunately, in order to have those, there has to be "public" areas also. 

Sanctuaries are one thing, the Philadelphia Zoo is another.
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temper35
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2007, 07:35:18 PM »

I personally think animals are capable of feeling that emotion--think of a dog chewing their bone or a tiger at a zoo chasing down and eating a mallard duck that got into its enclosure (I witnessed this at a zoo this spring) or an Asian rhino rolling in a mudhole or a warthog digging for tubers.  The problem with it is how humans interpret it.  Humans, in their own self appointed, self serving egotism tend to forgo every aspect of the animal they are looking at and anthropomorphising it based on their own personal thoughts and perceptions---humans don't like to forage for their food, animals shouldn't.  Humans don't like to be caged, animals shouldn't.  Humans don't like competition for reproduction, animals shouldn't.  Those types of thoughts are all a HUGE mistake in my opinion. 

I am not one of those humans.  If you've ever read a post of mine regarding dog behavior it is extremely clear that I know dogs need to be treated like dogs and not humans.  But yes, this is the problem with 80-95% of dog owners, and peoples view in general towards any animals.  There is no nurture in the animal world, it is a human behavior that we cannot seem to let go when it comes to our pets.
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2007, 08:10:19 PM »

Sanctuaries are one thing, the Philadelphia Zoo is another.

You know, this push for "sanctuaries" really pisses me off.  The people who are pushing them are by and large self serving and following an ideal that they've done very little research on.  I know for a fact that there are some sanctuaries that are doing a very good job--they animals are well fed, well cared for including veterinary care, husbandry, and enrichment, and have the "room" that the sanctuary promises.  There are others that I think need to be severely questioned.  They have very little if any veterinary care, the animals are not monitored in any way---meaning they may go for days without care, and are basically hiding behind the term "sanctuary" to serve a holier than thou attitude.  A sanctuary isn't that much different than a zoo if you break things down to basic terms.  The difference is a sanctuary can hide and not reveal what they do, while many zoo's in the US as a result of FOIA, have to make all records public.  The sanctuary nuts love to abuse this fact, yet get by doing whatever they want because its a "private" institution---this includes exemptions from animal control laws, exemptions from standards of care and otherthings that most zoos with accreditation HAVE to abide by.  That hypocrisy also pisses me off. 

I'm not a fan of the old school "cages" at all.  Enclosures can be designed with a "natural" layout that allows the animal to move about and interact with its environment without being in the old school "bird cage" type holdings.  The Philadelphia Zoo is a good example of a zoo that is in need of and has made an attempt to change with the animals best interest in mind.  I know the veterinary staff and some of the keepers there (at least I think they are there, they used to be).  They live their lives for those animals.  Unfortunately, they are often forgotten.......
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temper35
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2007, 09:21:06 PM »

I dunno.  I am not "pushing" for anything, lol.  But I know what you mean.

I just overall do not see the purpose of a zoo other than entertainment.
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Vet
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2007, 09:58:19 PM »

I dunno.  I am not "pushing" for anything, lol.  But I know what you mean.

I just overall do not see the purpose of a zoo other than entertainment.

Which is fine. 

I'll be the first to admit I'm biased because of what my job is.  I really do think there is a midpoint that facilitates an environment that doesn't "exploit" the animals and still allows people to see them and learn about them.   
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Al-Gebra
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2007, 10:03:50 PM »


I just overall do not see the purpose of a zoo other than entertainment.

 Roll Eyes

wtf's wrong w entertainment? wtf are you doing on a bb board?

and even if animals don't have a choice in the matter, the animals in most major zoos are better off than they would be in the wild . . . probably getting poisoned, or having their horns hacked off, or starving b/c you like hamburgers. 

oh, and the plural of zoo is zoos, not zoo's. 

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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2007, 07:26:32 AM »

Humans don't like to be caged, animals shouldn't. 

I don't think ANY living thing likes to be caged.
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temper35
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2007, 09:03:42 AM »

Roll Eyes

wtf's wrong w entertainment? wtf are you doing on a bb board?

and even if animals don't have a choice in the matter, the animals in most major zoos are better off than they would be in the wild . . . probably getting poisoned, or having their horns hacked off, or starving b/c you like hamburgers. 

oh, and the plural of zoo is zoos, not zoo's. 



Oh yeah, taking animals away from the way nature intended them to be and putting them in cages while hundreds of people gawk at them and bang on the glass and take pictures is a good way to live.  Not to mention animals such as gorillas being in a cage or a large square room.

Animals SURELY are better off in "zoos".  Smart. 

This all goes back to what Vet said, which is so true, about us humanizing animals.  Humans are born to live in a family structure and live in houses.  Wild animals from halfway across the world are not born intended to be born into the zoo.  They are intended to live where they are even if it means "probably getting poisoned, or having their horns hacked off" and they are fine with this.  This is life to them, posting on getbig is life to us.

They do not choose to go into the zoo, they are forced.  It is diff if the animal is endangered and they are breeding it, so therefore there is a purpose behind it.  But caging a fucking brown bear and charging 15 bucks to enter the zoo is not in any way necessary.

I am sure POLAR BEARS are really fucking happy about living in 100 degree weather with a pool next to them, while they lay and get seared by the sun.  Are you kidding me?
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Vet
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2007, 11:07:06 AM »

Oh yeah, taking animals away from the way nature intended them to be and putting them in cages while hundreds of people gawk at them and bang on the glass and take pictures is a good way to live.  Not to mention animals such as gorillas being in a cage or a large square room.

Animals SURELY are better off in "zoos".  Smart. 

This all goes back to what Vet said, which is so true, about us humanizing animals.  Humans are born to live in a family structure and live in houses.  Wild animals from halfway across the world are not born intended to be born into the zoo.  They are intended to live where they are even if it means "probably getting poisoned, or having their horns hacked off" and they are fine with this.  This is life to them, posting on getbig is life to us.

They do not choose to go into the zoo, they are forced.  It is diff if the animal is endangered and they are breeding it, so therefore there is a purpose behind it.  But caging a fucking brown bear and charging 15 bucks to enter the zoo is not in any way necessary.

I am sure POLAR BEARS are really fucking happy about living in 100 degree weather with a pool next to them, while they lay and get seared by the sun.  Are you kidding me?

One thing that is often forgotten is that in Europe and North America with some species we are talking generations in captivity.  Sure, they are still a wild animal, but come 5 pm they expect the door to their indoor area to open and there to be a food bowl there.  They don't run from predators because there isn't a predator in their display.  As a matter of fact, I doubt it seriously if they could run because they don't have to so they dont'.  This is one of the reasons I always try to go to a zoo towards the end of the day--the animals are expecting to get inside so you get to see them much better.  Show up at 1 pm on a hot day and they will be bedded down, you aren't going to see crap.  Show up at 4 pm and you stand a real good chance of seeing most of the animals.   This behavior is a product of captivity--and I wholeheartedly think that some of the animals---the brown bear example you used is a good one---i can think of several who I think really couldn't survive in the wild if you turned them lose.   I've worked with some "reintroduction" programs with various species, and believe me, they are much, much harder than they appear to be.  This presents a problem of responsibility to the animal.  And its real easy to say "don't breed them" but contraception in wild populations is not without risk and potential danger to the animal.  You can't just castrate everything. 

I personally would much much rather see a tiger or a zebra or a lion or a lynx or a bear in an accredited zoo in a naturalistic display than in someones back yard.  I've worked with too many of those disasters and am really glad I don't have to do that anymore. 
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temper35
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2007, 05:29:12 PM »

One thing that is often forgotten is that in Europe and North America with some species we are talking generations in captivity.  Sure, they are still a wild animal, but come 5 pm they expect the door to their indoor area to open and there to be a food bowl there.  They don't run from predators because there isn't a predator in their display.  As a matter of fact, I doubt it seriously if they could run because they don't have to so they dont'.  This is one of the reasons I always try to go to a zoo towards the end of the day--the animals are expecting to get inside so you get to see them much better.  Show up at 1 pm on a hot day and they will be bedded down, you aren't going to see crap.  Show up at 4 pm and you stand a real good chance of seeing most of the animals.   This behavior is a product of captivity--and I wholeheartedly think that some of the animals---the brown bear example you used is a good one---i can think of several who I think really couldn't survive in the wild if you turned them lose.   I've worked with some "reintroduction" programs with various species, and believe me, they are much, much harder than they appear to be.  This presents a problem of responsibility to the animal.  And its real easy to say "don't breed them" but contraception in wild populations is not without risk and potential danger to the animal.  You can't just castrate everything. 

I personally would much much rather see a tiger or a zebra or a lion or a lynx or a bear in an accredited zoo in a naturalistic display than in someones back yard.  I've worked with too many of those disasters and am really glad I don't have to do that anymore. 

Anything raised in captivity can't survive in the wild more than likely, this is not abnormal.  No one is arguing this. 

They are wild animals for a reason, because that is where nature intended them to be.  They are not dogs.  I once again say that there is no need for any tiger/bear/lion to be raised in a zoo, and most of them that are were born there and raised in captivity.  Wild animals are not supposed to be born in zoos they are supposed to be born in their natural habitat. 

No polar bear should have to live in my city's zoo when I can go there in July and they are out in the crazy hot sun.

The cheetah's are in a MAYBE 100yards x 100 yards enclosure.  Cheetah's.  Are you serious?  That is absurd.

They are there for entertainment.  They wouldn't charge admission if they weren't.  No one is saving these animals and putting them in the Philadelphia Zoo because they are doing them a favor.  They are doing it for money.  Zoo's are not needed.  These animals aren't asking to be "Saved".
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Al-Gebra
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2007, 06:24:07 PM »

Anything raised in captivity can't survive in the wild more than likely, this is not abnormal.  No one is arguing this. 

They are wild animals for a reason, because that is where nature intended them to be.  They are not dogs.  I once again say that there is no need for any tiger/bear/lion to be raised in a zoo, and most of them that are were born there and raised in captivity.  Wild animals are not supposed to be born in zoos they are supposed to be born in their natural habitat. 

No polar bear should have to live in my city's zoo when I can go there in July and they are out in the crazy hot sun.

The cheetah's are in a MAYBE 100yards x 100 yards enclosure.  Cheetah's.  Are you serious?  That is absurd.

They are there for entertainment.  They wouldn't charge admission if they weren't.  No one is saving these animals and putting them in the Philadelphia Zoo because they are doing them a favor.  They are doing it for money.  Zoo's are not needed.  These animals aren't asking to be "Saved".

shut it. who made you the authority on what animals are "asking" for, ms/mr dog whisperer?

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temper35
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2007, 06:59:13 PM »

shut it. who made you the authority on what animals are "asking" for, ms/mr dog whisperer?



Al-Gebra busting out the intelligent posts.  O snap.
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Vet
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« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2007, 09:07:48 PM »

shut it. who made you the authority on what animals are "asking" for, ms/mr dog whisperer?



LOL.  He's putting some serious human emotions on them isn't he?  Grin


One thing that isn't mentioned often is the off display areas.  I know of a couple of zoos with significantly larger off display areas than the on display--the Columbus Zoo is a great example when they had breeding cheetahs, they had an on display area that was relatively small and very large, football sized fields off display in a secluded part of the zoo.  The reason is people would bitch about not being able to see the animals if the display is too large. 

100 yards by 100 yards isn't necessarily bad for 1 to two captive born cheetahs.  Thats equal to a reasonable sprint distance for those cats to catch prey.  Its not like they run 2 miles to catch prey. Its a hard sprint over relatively short distance---if I remember right, their top speeds were measured at a sustained maximum of no more than 500 yards and much of their prey is caught at much much shorter distances of 40-120 feet.  100 yards is a relatively big area considering that.  The problem is the average person who "hates" zoos doesn't know those facts or they choose to ignore them based on their own agenda (nothing against you Temper, I'm making a general statement). 
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Al-Gebra
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2007, 09:49:45 PM »

LOL.  He's putting some serious human emotions on them isn't he?  Grin


One thing that isn't mentioned often is the off display areas.  I know of a couple of zoos with significantly larger off display areas than the on display--the Columbus Zoo is a great example when they had breeding cheetahs, they had an on display area that was relatively small and very large, football sized fields off display in a secluded part of the zoo.  The reason is people would bitch about not being able to see the animals if the display is too large. 

100 yards by 100 yards isn't necessarily bad for 1 to two captive born cheetahs.  Thats equal to a reasonable sprint distance for those cats to catch prey.  Its not like they run 2 miles to catch prey. Its a hard sprint over relatively short distance---if I remember right, their top speeds were measured at a sustained maximum of no more than 500 yards and much of their prey is caught at much much shorter distances of 40-120 feet.  100 yards is a relatively big area considering that.  The problem is the average person who "hates" zoos doesn't know those facts or they choose to ignore them based on their own agenda (nothing against you Temper, I'm making a general statement). 

Haha, yes he is.

But the thing that's even more annoying is the attitude that animals can be left alone. I hope it's not a popular one.  It's too late to leave them alone now, after we've "interfered" tons of them to the brink of extinction or beyond.  The bottom line is if we don't actively work to conserve in multiple ways (including zoos), we're going to be the losers.  The time for a "hands off" approach has long passed.

If conservationists (including zoos) stop doing what they do, it's not like the people who interfere w habitat/animals are going to stop.
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temper35
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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2007, 09:52:34 PM »

LOL.  He's putting some serious human emotions on them isn't he?  Grin


One thing that isn't mentioned often is the off display areas.  I know of a couple of zoos with significantly larger off display areas than the on display--the Columbus Zoo is a great example when they had breeding cheetahs, they had an on display area that was relatively small and very large, football sized fields off display in a secluded part of the zoo.  The reason is people would bitch about not being able to see the animals if the display is too large. 

100 yards by 100 yards isn't necessarily bad for 1 to two captive born cheetahs.  Thats equal to a reasonable sprint distance for those cats to catch prey.  Its not like they run 2 miles to catch prey. Its a hard sprint over relatively short distance---if I remember right, their top speeds were measured at a sustained maximum of no more than 500 yards and much of their prey is caught at much much shorter distances of 40-120 feet.  100 yards is a relatively big area considering that.  The problem is the average person who "hates" zoos doesn't know those facts or they choose to ignore them based on their own agenda (nothing against you Temper, I'm making a general statement). 

I don't see how I am putting human emotions on anything.  Putting human emotions on animals is bringing them into zoos.  If people didn't care about animal's in the case of some zoos having that is their purpose, then there WOULDN'T be zoos.  Lmao.  If Joe Vet didn't care about the fact that they just found an orphaned tiger cub and it will die unless they take it in, that would be nature running its course.  Bringing it into a zoo is HUMAN EMOTION.  Don't you get what I am saying?  They don't make the decision, we do.

Since I am so off my rocker Vet, explain to me how having a polar bear in an outdoor enclosure in a city that reaches temps of 95 degrees + for weeks on end, is smart/humane?
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