No it's not ok to pet wild animals
If you have ever been to a wildlife park or a zoo and wondered like I have whether it's ok to interact with the animals then this blog is worth reading. I've done the having my photo with a cheetah, and a petting of a tiger cub both at Australia Zoo. I want to believe that the zoo has the best interests of these animals at heart and that their conservation efforts really do help animals in the wild. After the last encounter with a tiger cub I started to feel uncomfortable about it even though it was a gift for my birthday. Wild animals almost certainly shouldn't be touched by the public for entertainment, even the ones in captivity. But it raises a lot of questions about what is ok. There are so many ways that animals are kept by humans mostly for our gratification we find acceptable or tell ourselves it is when the truth of it is that it's about some organisation making money. But how do you engage people to care about these animals unless they have the opportunity to see them up close. Honestly no animal in captivity belongs there anymore than we would want to be jailed so what is the difference ? Personally I am horrified by cub petting in Africa because I know those cubs are then sent off to feed the canned hunting industry when they are too old to be handled by the public. Is it ok to swim with dolphins and whale sharks ? probably not but they can swim away from us and avoid interaction if they want to but a captive animals doesn't get to choose. Perhaps we all need to think a bit more about what we engage in when encounters with wild animals are on offer. I know I will be.
Leave a Reply.