Friday, November 30, 2007

The Zoo Post Mortem

We went to the Zoo today for a bit of observation stuff. I haven't been to the zoo since I was about 12, so that's a while. To be honest, I don't feel I've missed much. Perhaps because it was a Thursday morning in late November, that meant the place was dead. By that I mean we were the only ones wandering around, not that the animals were actually dead - but they were very boring; they did nothing. As bad as it sounds, I wanted to throw something at them to get a reaction. It only cost us €5 to go because it was subsidised by the college but in fairness when I pay €5 I want to be entertained!! I think next time I'll go to the cinema instead.

On a more serious note, the common view was one of "I love the zoo, but I hate the zoo". It's not nice to see animals locked up. They certainly didn't look as though they were enjoying themselves, and I can't imagine it's much fun having people gawk at you all day. I'm sure the animals would be glad of someone banging on the glass to say hello...but that's not allowed. And we can't feed them either.

On a more serious note again, I thought of this after I left the zoo...when there was nobody around to listen to me! If we save all the animals in the world, and put them in enclosements and make them recreate with others so that they never become extinct...then aren't we messing with the process of evolution? If the dinosaurs had all been preserved, they'd have never died off, we'd have never had the development from Neanderthal to man and so on.

Another point is that the zookeeper lady told us that all the animals enclosements have been created to imitate their natural habitat. The tigers therefore have long tall reeds like they would have outside the zoo, but think about this: Tigers and elephants and pandas and jaguars aren't Irish! The Irish climate isn't their natural climate. It has been proven that our genes change to adapt to our environment: Mutations and the selection for beneficial mutations can cause a species to evolve into forms that better survive their environment, a process called adaptation. People in Africa have a different pigment because they have to survive the hot sun. Adaptation. So if you stick an Asian Tiger in the freezing Dublin zoo, them offspring ain't gonna have the same genetic make-up that Grandad Asian Tiger had, so you're gonna STILL make the animal you're trying to save, extinct. Get it? Interference. I never heard these animals asking to locked up "for their own good"...