08 January 2008

eye of the tiger.

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.



  1. I completely agree with you. Zoos are good, they're bad, and even ugly after seeing what happened with San Francisco's tiger. Most of the time I think zoos are good, though, because we get an amazing opportunity to learn more and watch these fantastic creatures. I'll never forget the baby panda we saw at the San Diego Zoo, asleep atop the bamboo trees!

    I hope you're feeling better. If I could I'd send you some of the soup I made last night.

  2. soup would be nice, thanks for the thought, too bad it would be cold by the time it made it to mpls.

  3. I feel like zoos are kinda the "between a rock and a hard place"--many of the animals on display are endangered in the wild, subject to human poachers and overwhelmed by their animal predators, but I certainly don't think the solution is shutting them up in these (relatively) tiny faux-landscapes. But as for the people who got attacked by the tiger: they got what they deserved when they forgot to respect Mother Nature.