Question: About the Detroit Zoo in Michigan... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-10-2005, 10:12 PM
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(I'm not sure if this is in the right forum, it's kind of specific...)

Is there anyway to find out how a zoo's animals are treated?



In specific, the Detroit Zoo in Michigan. On the outside, it appears to be a good zoo - then again, I really don't know much about zoos. I know there was a big thing about the two elephants (Wanda and... Winky?) being sent somewhere else becuase the zoo couldn't provide for them. I believe there's a rhino exhibit where the elphants used to be, but I could be wrong.



Anyway, off track. I'm really interested in knowing if the Detroit Zoo is... well, a "good" zoo. It looks good on the outside (the artic ring of life exhibit looked good - but good to humans or good to the polar bears?) but can that really indicate how the animals are being treated?



Err sorry if this is really not helpful, because I honestly don't know much about the Zoo.



If anyone could help me, I'd really appreciate it.



~Anna
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#2 Old 10-10-2005, 11:12 PM
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So for me at least, even if it here was a perfect zoo that treated their animals with respect and helped to educate the public it would still be 'wrong' since at the core I don't believe we should be exhibiting wild animals for any reason.



But that being said - I think the Detroit zoo did a very commendable thing when they turned their last two elephants over to a santuary. It also says this on a PETA website devoted to saving elephants:



The Detroit Zoo has been a pioneer in animal welfare. It is one of the few zoos that takes in rescued animals and publicly denounces the mistreatment of animals in circuses.



http://www.savewildelephants.com/detroitzoo.asp



So as zoos go I would venture to say it is one of the better ones...
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#3 Old 10-11-2005, 11:11 AM
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I went to the Detroit Zoo before I went vegan in 1992, and it was horrible. That place has small enclosures, the animals looked unhappy, and the whole thing was one more step towards me being "anti-zoo".



That was over a decade ago. I heard from my folks (who go to Zoos) that the Detroit Zoo had a turn-around and have been trying to sell me on letting them take my almost 2-year-old son who loves animals.



I have said "no" so far.



That experience long ago really was horrible.
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#4 Old 10-11-2005, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texaspice View Post

So for me at least, even if it here was a perfect zoo that treated their animals with respect and helped to educate the public it would still be 'wrong' since at the core I don't believe we should be exhibiting wild animals for any reason.



But that being said - I think the Detroit zoo did a very commendable thing when they turned their last two elephants over to a santuary. It also says this on a PETA website devoted to saving elephants:



The Detroit Zoo has been a pioneer in animal welfare. It is one of the few zoos that takes in rescued animals and publicly denounces the mistreatment of animals in circuses.



So as zoos go I would venture to say it is one of the better ones...



ahh, I don't think this got posted.



Thanks for the link... though, I can't say that I wouldn't want good, humane zoos to exist. Even though it's not natural for wild animals to be displayed, in my heart, I love seeing them. The chaperones on elementary school field trips to the zoo hated getting me in their group, because I would want to spend so much time at each exhibit. I think I spent half a trip with the chimpanzees and gorillas, just kind of staring and talking to them. Err, I doubt they understood me, but I was 7 years old. (Ignoring that when I went to the zoo 2 years ago, I still did this.)



I'm glad the elephants were sent away, too. Well, not glad that they're gone, but glad that they were sent somewhere that can care for them better than the Zoo. I miss them, but that's more sentimental on my part.



I did a bit of research with one of my teachers today. From the little we could find, the zoo seems to be pretty good.



I just remembered something... I think the Michigan government pulled it's funding to the Zoo. I wonder if this will have any effect on the animal exhibits. I hope not.
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#5 Old 10-11-2005, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xrodolfox View Post

...and the whole thing was one more step towards me being "anti-zoo". (

I'm torn on this issue. Part of me thinks that zoos are wrong. I mean, who are we to take these beautiful animals and put them on display?



But on the other hand, I think that it's not so bad a thing for well maintained and humane zoos to exist. For the general public, being able to see those animals up close makes them more tangible a thing for people to understand. It's kind of the out of sight, out of mind cliche. If people weren't able to have a somewhat personal experience with these animals, would they appreciate them or even care about them at all?
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#6 Old 10-17-2005, 01:35 PM
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I happen to LOVE Ron Kagan - he is my hero. He boldly went where few Zoo Directors went before and pushed to close his elephant exhibit. He went against and fought the AZA. Oddly enough it was the test of one of the elephants possibly having Herpes that set those 2 girls (Winky and Wanda) "Free" The elephants are doing great at PAWS. Ron Kagan is a PIONEER in my eyes. He has the welfare of the animals first. I really cannot tell you about the whole zoo itself, but simply my experience with Ron Kagan, a man above men. I love you Ron Kagan
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#7 Old 10-18-2005, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelson View Post

I happen to LOVE Ron Kagan - he is my hero. He boldly went where few Zoo Directors went before and pushed to close his elephant exhibit. He went against and fought the AZA. Oddly enough it was the test of one of the elephants possibly having Herpes that set those 2 girls (Winky and Wanda) "Free" The elephants are doing great at PAWS. Ron Kagan is a PIONEER in my eyes. He has the welfare of the animals first. I really cannot tell you about the whole zoo itself, but simply my experience with Ron Kagan, a man above men. I love you Ron Kagan



I am sorry, but who is Ron Kagan?
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#8 Old 10-18-2005, 10:28 AM
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The Director of the Detroit Zoo
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#9 Old 10-18-2005, 12:57 PM
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The Director of the Detroit Zoo



Hmmm. Interesting.



I'd like to know more.



I am not categorically oposed to Zoo's, just what I do know about them...



I would be willing to give it chance. Can someone please say more about the director?
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#10 Old 10-18-2005, 01:46 PM
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I am opposed to elephants in zoos. They cannot provide what elephants need - period. I recently went to the WoodLands Park Zoo in Seattle. All in all a pretty nice zoo even for the animals EXCEPT for the elephants. They had the worst enclosure in the whole zoo. 1 acre for the worlds largest land animal - it was barren and totally depressing. The giraffes and zebras were in a beautiful 4-6 acre (was hard to tell exact size) enclosure which mimiced africa - it was away from the crowds and was fabulous. The bears had their own stream and forest, the gorillas had their own forest and the animals had lots of privacy.



I only know about Ron Kagan through my dealings with elephants and his position on them in zoos. I really don't know much about that zoo but I do know one of the docents from that zoo so I can ask her what her thoughts are (she is a big supporter of Kagan)



Here is a brief bio on Kagan -

http://www.guardianawards.org/kagan.html
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