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The Power of Nudity for Saving Tigers

Snapshot from the race (Source: Youtube)Sometimes we, the authors of ZOOmoments, discuss what topics would be the most attractive for readers. Yes, we know we write about many things that are interesting in zoo life, but we always need more attention…  After some debate we usually come to the conclusion: people need boobs! Naturally, we could consider this a joke… but there is some truth in it. Just look at the commercials and tabloids! Since the case of banning Adam and Eve from the Paradise Club nudity has been considered a taboo, which makes it so attractive for people. Therefore, surely if you connect anything to anything naked, it will be extremely popular.

Which animals would you like to keep?

The big question is waiting for reply (African elephant in Sosto Zoo, photo: elajos)There is no doubt that collection management is the most important part of operating zoos. There are several factors which could influence decisions, some of them are objective and based on a well-supported idea, but less deliberate choices can often be seen too. Many times a wrong decision could lead to long-term negative consequences, including the reduction of the whole zoo’s efficiency. The following viewpoints are very subjective, so I am waiting for your comments to debate this important question.

Do we need non-human rights?

Human, non-humansAfter summarizing the story of Sandra, I will continue my previous article more subjectively. We can experience a strong anti-zoo attitude when we look at the story from the zoos’ point of view. According to AFADA (Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights), there are no good or bad zoos, as leading zoos communicate, for living in a zoo means imprisonment for every animal and the future should be a world free of zoos. For me, the most shocking opinion on the case was that the trial should have been continued with convicting the workers of the zoo for imprisoning Sandra. I still do not see a great difference between the Great Ape Project sanctuaries and zoos, with regard to the freedom of the apes, though this is merely a cynical comment, as there is a more essential question behind the story. I am afraid that the positive efforts of AFADA could result in being harmful like they have previously been in many cases in the history of conservation and animal welfare.

Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark – or Do Danish Zoos Have a New Educational Tool?

Giraffes in Cpoenhagen Zoo, Denmark (source: Wikipedia)February 2014: a male giraffe is killed and publicly dissected in Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark.  October 2015: Odense Zoo, Denmark invites visitors to the public dissection of a healthy male lion killed 9 months previously. November 2015: Copenhagen Zoo organizes a weekend programme when visitors can see ’inside’ a rabbit, a chicken – and a zebra, that will be fed to tigers after the dissection. Are these morbid actions of Danish zoos, clever marketing tricks, intentional scandals or a new educational technique?

According to the news, both the giraffe in Copenhagen Zoo and the lion in Odense Zoo were healthy animals and were culled for the purpose of collection planning. The reasons and methods of this have been discussed several times in recent months, but I will not give an opinion on the subject in this article, rather on how public dissection can be acceptable for a zoo.

The Very First Moment

Crocodile in egg (photo: elajos)What do you think could fit into a single moment? What can this time be enough for? The question can seem petty or even hollow at first sight, or we tend to think that the answer is: little, hardly anything. But if we give more thought to the question and examine it thoroughly we find that great battles were decided and fates of people were sealed in moments. What’s more, there are joyous moments that make us whole by accompanying us throughout our lives – we remember these forever!

So, certain moments can have historical significance, most of them can never be repeated. Such moments were the foundations of the first zoos, the first succesful breedings, unusual discoveries, gap-filling publications. Believe it or not, You, Dear Reader, are witness to such a historical moment!

Check yourself - again and again!

The Sumatran tiger in Wroclaw after the accident (photo: elajos)Wroclaw, 8:30 a.m. September 16th, 2015. A huge number of professionals are waiting for the opening of the most important meeting of European zoo life in a large conference hall. Being the host of the annual EAZA conference is a great honour for any zoo, and it was also a personal success for Mr. Radosław Ratajszczak, the director of Wroclaw Zoo, a popular and recognised professional. However, instead of celebrating, he shocked the audience: “I thought it would be the best day of my life, I was happy to be able to greet you all here in Wrocław. Unfortunately it appears to be the worst day of my life. Today, early in the morning one of our keepers was attacked by a tiger. I would like to ask for a minute's silence in memory of the keeper." The experienced zoo keeper died. It was a tragedy for him as well as for his family, friends and colleagues, but it was a tragedy for the whole zoo community too. That’s why there was appalling silence…

Enter the zoo world!