One of the biggest and endless debate about animals or wildlife - is whether to keep them in zoos, or just leave them in the wild. There’s an obvious answer to this. (You don’t have to guess, just ask yourself how you want to be treated).
But given dwindling and degrading habitats, uncontrolled illegal hunting and trading, and unregulated or unsustainable harvesting – some folks are starting to think twice.
In my opinion – the best (or wishful) scenario is to have protected natural parks so that animals can roam freely in their natural habitat, but at the same time enjoy the luxury of getting security from park rangers (to stop illegal poaching or habitat destruction), and even medical attention if park resources permits. My visit to Serengeti and Ngorongoro park reserves (in East Africa) allowed me to see a better way of conserving our animals and their habitat. There, the school kids do not need Zoo for wildlife education, they just visit their parks!
In the Philippines – the rate of habitat destruction is simply alarming. With 3% old forest growth, & 5-10%(?) coral reef remaining – how do we expect keeping healthy animal population in the so-called ‘wilderness’?! The culprits -- too much commercial development and mining, the 2 biggest ‘destroyers’ of our forest. Behind that are various ‘powerful’ people who are successfully leading the way to our self-destruction.
What can we do?
- Kill the demand. Don’t buy wild animal products / derivatives. (Shark’s fin soup, fur, wild animal-carpets, turtle ‘shells’, crocodile-skin bags/wallets, corals, etc.)
- Easy on the old-wood furniture. Why not bamboo? Rattan?
- Help on the campaign against bad mining? (they destroy trees, mountains & rivers).
- When in doubt, just plant a tree! Then some more trees… hehe.
Zoo vs Wild? The bigger issue is habitat & wildlife destruction. You keep the zoos, but help protect the wild! If we have enough safe places for the animals – we may not need zoos or oceanariums!