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JJ. Even peaceful animals confined under stressful conditions are likely to exhibit violence. This is my buddy Albert from the San Diego Zoo in the 1960s. He was such a sweet fellow, but he hated psychologists who were constantly subjecting him to I.Q. tests. He could spot one of them at quite a distance in the crowd. When he did they were likely to get a faceful of fresh gorilla doo.
This perfectly makes sense to me, as a kid in Paris I was fascinated by animals and would ask to go to the zoo but then felt so sorry for the caged animals I would want to turn back...I remember of wolves in a small cage that were clearly turning crazy, just like people in a small cell. Poor Albert probably dreamed of his Central African home every night.
jj. The students in the class i was teaching petitioned the zoo for more private space for the animals. There was an especially bad situation that they observed. Some gelada male monkeys were in a cage next to females in estrus. They were banging their head bloody against the cages. My students were probably not the only reason for improved conditions at the zoo, but the San Diego zoo now has very humane housing for the animals.
Still no animal including humans likes to be starred at. It is very stressful.
Anyhow, I hope we can look forward to another one of your trips.
Really, enjoyed it.
Yes, zoos are a difficult topic, they are a wonderful tool to show animal diversity to the ones who cannot afford to travel but on the other hand they are nothing but jails. I would favour open places where animals can roam and people either drive cars or are driven in mini-buses like in reserves but of course this cannot be held in the middle of Chicago or L.A. As for students, to me studying animals in a zoo is like studying plants in a flora, the whole environment is missing and any living being is definitely a product of its environment, correct me if I am wrong as I am not a scientist but a nature lover and forests roamer...