Has anyone else been following the Tiger Attack at the San Francisco Zoo? I am plagued by it & check the San Francisco Chronicle website everyday for new information. This event is very tragic. A young man and tiger died, two more people were seriously injured. Nothing good has been accomplished except maybe a brief press frenzy regarding conditions in zoos, and even that has been a little too hysterical for my taste. While it is looking as though these individuals taunted and teased Tatiana prior to her escape, the zoo completely F'ed up by not complying with recommendations for enclosure heights. But at the same time, who goes to a zoo and F's with the tigers?
And then there is the issue of zoos in general. They're bad, they're good, they're important educational tools, they're a stressful place for species to live. I agree with all of these statements and am obviously conflicted. I know that I wouldn't want to be on display 8 - 10 hours a day for all the world to see and I still avoid a certain local Polar Bear exhibit because they always look so stressed, but I also know that zoos can be magical place for a child and there are some species that do alright there. It's all very incongruous as you can see.
Salon.com posted a great piece a few days ago and it was the most though provoking piece I've read on the subject so far. Read on.