Time to rethink zoos and aquariums

February 26, 2010

While the killing of the trainer-handler at Sea World by a killer whale was tragic, perhaps there is no better time to assess the importance and relevance of zoos and aquariums in our nation and the purpose they serve.

The inherent purpose of these attractions is for the entertainment of the supposedly brighter species, the human being. Imagine that incarcerated animals and mammals had the gift, like us, of verbal communication. They would certainly voice their disdain for the lives they are thrust in to. Imagine being confined to the environments to which they are unwillingly subjected, taken from their habitats and placed in zoos and aquariums for our juvenile amusement.

Perhaps we are at a crossroads as a society where we have to ask ourselves what purpose these venues serve, other than that of selfish (and profitable) entertainment for us humans.

These tragic consequences will continue as long as man plays the "godly" role and confines these beautiful creatures in man-made, contrived environments that are entirely antithetical to what they are genetically built for.

Patrick R. Lynch, Baltimore

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