I have a really hard time with zoos–specifically, with the fact that they exist.
I realize logically that many zoos treat animals like royalty; that many also help protect endangered species; and that we simply no longer inhabit an ecology system in which all animals can roam free, unfettered by human activities. If I had any hopes for that, I wouldn’t have two domesticated cats.
And yet, when I see a tiger or a monkey in a cage, surrounded by plastic rocks and barbed wire, I am overwhelmed with the sense that this is just plain wrong. The argument that zoos allow kids to care about wildlife has never gone over too well with me. It seems there are lots of ways to encourage kids to care about animals without imprisoning them.
But this photo just may sway me. It was posted on Urlesque with no introduction–none, I suppose, is really required. It’s pretty hard to unequivocally hate zoos when you’re watching a toddler and a tiger make loving eye contact.
Photos: Howstuffworks.com (above); Dryk Daniels (below)