Trading zoo animal life with visitors becomes best option for keepers

Published on : Monday, May 30, 2016

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical GardenZoos are an interesting place for animal lovers and young observers to get a chance to see wild animals at close view and somewhat try to understand their habitat in confined surroundings from a safe distance. The first zoo was opened was the London Zoological Garden known as a menagerie or Zoological forest for the purpose of scientific study. Now Zoo’s are more bent on entertainment as people flock to them with their children on holidays and spend a whole day watching the wild animals living in their confined territory.



Recently some disturbing reviews and incidents concerning the killing of zoo animals are making people wonder whether the zoo is a safe place for animals. The safety of the animals is in the hand of the zoo authorities and with spectators who regularly visit the zoo. But how safe are the zoo inmates as their safety is often traded with human faults. If zoo animals cannot be ensured complete safety, why keep them in the shallow confinement? In 2016 alone a number of incidents have occurred where animals have been wrongly punished for human errors. Is it time to think differently and return animals to their natural habitats if visitors are unable to control their urges to get closer to the animals?



The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden incident on May 28, 2016 is one case where the zoo authorities say they had no options but to kill the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla. A 4 yrs old boy’s entered in the well barricaded boundary of the gorilla enclosure. The boy faced danger from the hugely built animals that has been there in the zoo for the last one and a half years. Harambe, as the gorilla was popularly known was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, before he was moved to Cincinnati in September 2014.The animal belongs to a population of endangered animals according to the World Wildlife Foundation. In 2009, the International Species Information System counted 158 male western lowland gorillas and 183 females in captivity in the United States. Harambe had always been a popular inmate at the zoo and visitors of all ages had taken great joy in watching this animal.




Again, recently at the Santiago zoo Chile on May 21, 2016, two lions were short dead trying to save a man who got into the animal enclosure. The man was carried away by his own whims and decided to enter into a lion pen in what appeared to be a suicidal attempt. The zoo keepers did their best to salvage the situation which was however disturbing for the beasts. The zoo keepers turned a hose towards the animals, then fired tranquiliser dart, which was misfired as it hit the man instead of the animals. After all these predicaments when the lions finally set upon the man a zookeeper opened fire with live rounds. The two beloved animals died in front of a horrified and massive holiday crowd.




In the Palm Beach Zoo, on Apr 15, 2016, a woman who was “very knowledgeable about the tigers and loved them dearly”, died after a tiger injured her inside a tiger’s night house. The captive tiger was killed on the same day according to zoo authorities.



A toddler had been mauled by a lion cub after it was left to run loose in a Russian park in Vladimir, east of Moscow on Mar 7, 2016 Russia.  A traveling “zoo” owner was showing off the lion cub in the park.  Within seconds the young animal’s attention was diverted to a small child sitting nearby and the cub raced to the boy and began to maul his neck.  His mother screamed in Russian “get him” as the helpless child cried out “mummy.”  The handler quickly pulled the lion off the toddler and proceeds to beat it.




In the Papanack Park Zoo on Feb 28, 2016 Canada, a five year old male lion named Zeus escaped from its enclosure. The authorities were unable to contain the animal and the zoo owners were forced to shoot it. The authorities felt that the risk of sedating the lion was very high and could have caused danger to others who were visiting the zoo park.



There are many incidents that had occurred in 2015 and before that. These animals are at our mercy, how well are humans taking care of their safety is one question that arises. If the zoo authorities need to keep the wildest species it is important to keep them at a great distance from visitors and if that cannot be done then the policy of excluding these animals from the zoo may be a good thought.

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6 Responses to Trading zoo animal life with visitors becomes best option for keepers

  1. Pat says:

    Wild animals should be kept in the wild and therefore such situations would never occur. But should they, why can’t the zoo keepers us darts to heavily sedate the animals rather than kill them?

    • Lisa says:

      I totally agree with you Pat and this was what I was thinking the whole time reading this article.
      Why kill the animal?, why can’t they sedate them?
      If they are being detained in the zoo, humans definitely need to be more aware of their surroundings. Totally not the animal’s fault.

  2. Kamaal Ahmed says:

    I will not agree with the above article. Human life is much more precious than animal life. This is nature.
    I do agree that more strict measures should be implemented that not a single human being comes in touch with them and can only see them and enjoy them. Every zoo can achieve this level of security for the animals. But when it comes to one off case then it is acceptable that a human life was saved in comparison with animals.
    Only in the case of suicidal attempt by the man, I felt the lions should have been saved rather than a person who is attempting suicide. Reason is there is no guarantee that he will not try again to do it at another place or venue. Rest all the other cases it was absolutely Right in my view to kill the animals and save the humans.

  3. G.C.VERMA says:

    Most of us will agree that human life is more precious than the animal life. Therefore human beings are to be protected at the cost of animal life even if the man wants to commit suicide. The argument that the man may again attempt to commit suicide as such human being could be sacrificed is ridiculous. The man must be saved even if he attempts suicide hundred times.

  4. There was no choice but to kill the Gorilla unless there was some medicine to make this Giant sleep.Otherwise nobody can leave the Gorilla drug the kid that way when you have a Gun in hand. My advice in future is that all the Zoo should have the fence which is not easy for the children or even adult to cross over. We have to protect animals as much as we can but not in that style.

  5. Andrew Aiken says:

    This article is inaccurate with regard to the incident at the Palm Beach Zoo. The tiger involved in the incident was not harmed and is alive and well today.

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