Why is this still on the news feed..?

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Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Eleanor on Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:23 am

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/check-out-how-zoo-deals-over-population.html

Typical, trying to blow things vastly out of proportion. One-sided story, as usual. I doubt many of the people who pass comment on it have even researched it properly.
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Hayley on Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:26 pm

The boar and deer thing I can tolerate but I will never forgive them for the giraffe and lions. Totally unacceptable in my view.
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by LyndaW on Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:00 pm

It's good that zoos are kept an eye on.
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Eleanor on Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:40 pm

This'll be controversial, but I support their decision with the giraffe. The only part I wasn't happy with was the dissection being done outdoors, in view of children, even though they did have parental consent.

We were actually discussing this in one of our lectures a while ago. The university is connected to a huge chain of zoos, so there were numerous meetings on the subject. The media coverage was vastly one-sided.

Copenhagen Zoo is one of the many zoos in a huge chain of zoos, participating in an extremely important breeding program across Europe. This breeding program has incredibly strict rules.

It costs a phenomenal amount to house a giraffe for one year, with medical care, feed, etc., included. That's just one giraffe. The young giraffe was a part of their breeding program, but they can't control whether a male or female is born. Had the giraffe been female, they would have kept it as a part of the program. However, keeping a male would only have contributed with in-breeding, which is even more destructive in giraffes than it is in most other animals.

They had a few options:

Castrating the giraffe and keeping him at the zoo: in a breeding program, this is probably one of the biggest traps any zoo can fall into. They just couldn't keep him on, spending that huge amount of money on him, when he would be contributing nothing to the program. That money would need to be spent on ensuring the future of giraffes in general.

Providing contraceptives: giraffes react very badly to contraceptives, with a huge number of side effects.

Transferring him to another zoo: they tried to work this out. Several zoos volunteered to take him in, but law wouldn't permit it. This is why I mentioned the strict rules earlier. In order for them to be able to transfer him to another zoo, they would need to ensure that his welfare would be top priority. None of the volunteered zoos fit the criteria. This wasn't Copenhagen Zoo's fault, as they had to abide by the rules set by the program.

Culling him: although it isn't nice, this was probably the only thing that they could do, whilst still maintaining the welfare of the other giraffes, along with future generations. Disrupting one part of the program, in one participating zoo, would have disrupted the entire chain. Once culled, he wasn't 'hacked up', as the media claimed. He was dissected for research purposes and then, to avoid wastage, used as feed.

As distasteful as it all seems, it's a harsh reality.

I've not properly researched what happened with the lion cubs, but I'll hopefully be doing a report on the entire subject soon, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find something out. However, I do know that this was also in relation to breeding program regulations, which are almost exactly the same in the UK - the article unsurprisingly glazed over that.
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Hayley on Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:33 pm

They can keep males and females seperate and not get into this problem - breeding and then deciding they dont want it anymore is just wrong to me.
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Eleanor on Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:52 pm

How would keeping the males and females separate help the breeding program, though? They wanted to breed them, but it's a gamble as to whether they'll get male or female offspring.

Without breeding programs, the population of giraffes in captivity will deteriorate to the point where they'll need to start taking animals out of the wild. That can't be allowed to happen. Giraffe numbers have dropped considerably in the last decade, which is why the programs are so important, to prevent them declining to numbers equivalent to animals such as the Amur tigers and leopards.

Also, food for thought (pardon the pun! happy ):

The giraffe was killed to feed other animals. Is this different to cattle being raised for the slaughter?
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Shisa on Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:02 am

I read about this a while ago. I think the event was advertised and people could come and look if they wanted ??? I'm not sure, it was a while ago. They didn't just drag the giraffe out and butcher it infront of visitors.

IMAO culling is vital to keep a population healthy. All zoos, reserves, sanctuaries etc are just farms. On a farm you change bulls, either castrate, slaughter or sell the young males, remove older cows or sickly animals to prevent inbreeding and/or over population and to keep your stock healthy.

In the Kruger National Park they for many years had a culling program and whole families and herds of animals would be caught and slaughtered. They had a huge abattoir at Skukuza that processed the meat and it was used in the restaurants and sold in the shops throughout Kruger. The park was healthy and the ecosystem balanced. Then came pressure from animal anti cruelty leagues and they stopped.
What happened? Grass is overrunning the bush because the over population of elephants are destroying the trees. Last I read Kruger could support 4500 elephants and had 20 000. Elephants breed very well and their calves have a good survival rate.
The decimate the bush though.
The lion population was almost wiped out and the hyena population took a knock because of buffalo carrying TB. The predator population dropping so severely led to antelope over breeding and further decimating the ecosystem.
Everything has to be kept in balance.
Unfortunately (and yes they are needed and do, do good) some of the animal anti cruelty zealots don't look at the whole picture. Nothing in nature is natural anymore. Humans have unbalanced everything and we have to keep things balanced by unnatural means now.

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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Eleanor on Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:47 am

Exactly! Something that might not seem so 'nice' at first is often not as bad as it seems. I don't think people consider the knock-on effect it could have, if something seemingly cruel isn't done.

As you said, he wasn't hauled out and butchered. The giraffe was humanely euthanised, and then dissected in front of an audience. I wasn't entirely happy with the way the publicity side of it was handled, as I don't think they made it clear, at first, what was going to happen. Perhaps they shouldn't have done it in front of children (although it wouldn't have bothered me), but the parents should have made that decision when they brought their kids along.

What I find strange is that people are also assuming that only Copenhagen Zoo does this. Zoos all over the world perform culls to control inbreeding, except they often do it discreetly to avoid causing a public outcry.
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Shisa on Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:33 am

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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Shisa on Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:39 am

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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Eleanor on Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:55 pm

They've already been slaughtered. This was a while after the incident with the giraffe.

I've requested information from the one of my lecturers about the lions, to see what happened without the media frenzy.
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Shisa on Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:24 am

I meant the zoo was going to get slaughtered
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Eleanor on Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:22 am

Oh, I see!
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Shisa on Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:57 am

Killing off the lions just after the giraffe ... sounds like a recipe for disaster.
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Eleanor on Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:24 am

I think they need to work on their PR a little!
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Re: Why is this still on the news feed..?

Post by Caryll on Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:37 am

You mean they actually have PR?

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