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I generally don't have any ethical problems with "zoos" (incl game farms/ranches/refuges/rehabs/etc) - as long as they are clean with the animal's welfare being of the highest priority. Zoos would seem to be a great place for wildlife and nature photography.   It's amusing that some nature photo groups insist on full disclose of whether or not a critters image was taken in the wild or in a zoo/game-farm/controlled environment.   

 

As for zoos - it would be interesting to see data on what percentage of zoo creatures - especially higher order animals - are wild-caught versus captive bred/born and rehab'ers. I would suspect that in recent decades that many of zoo's large critters are captive bred/born.  These will not likely have the necessary learned survival skills to be able to live "wild and free".  Life in the wild can be brutally violent and end quickly without wild born and learned survival skills and even then life may be short.   Many large predator species are zoo residents because they had come into conflict with humans or had injuries that made it improbable for them to survive in the wild.   

 

Animals may understand they are restrained - the result is the fence/enclosure pacing often seen -  but to believe that animals have any concept of "freedom" or "captivity" is a form of anthropomorphism previously mentioned.   They react to their environment.

 

 

 

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On 07/09/2019 at 17:39, Phil said:

Animals may understand they are restrained - the result is the fence/enclosure pacing often seen -  but to believe that animals have any concept of "freedom" or "captivity" is a form of anthropomorphism previously mentioned.   They react to their environment.

 

 

 

 

 

Friend here is involved with natural preservation project.  His group rescued a capuchin monkey.  The monkey made friends with one particular human, but when they took her to the forest where a capuchin troops had been spotted, she moved off into the forest without looking back.   Hard to think she didn't understand that we were not her kind, and that her real life with the other capuchins, not with the man who'd been her friend while she was in rehab.  No lingering, no looking back (I saw the video tape).

 

Edited by MizBrown
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10 hours ago, Phil said:

I generally don't have any ethical problems with "zoos" (incl game farms/ranches/refuges/rehabs/etc) - as long as they are clean with the animal's welfare being of the highest priority. Zoos would seem to be a great place for wildlife and nature photography. It's amusing that some nature photo groups insist on full disclose of whether or not a critters image was taken in the wild or in a zoo/game-farm/controlled environment.   

 

As for zoos - it would be interesting to see data on what percentage of zoo creatures - especially higher order animals - are wild-caught versus captive bred/born and rehab'ers. I would suspect that in recent decades that many of zoo's large critters are captive bred/born.  These will not likely have the necessary learned survival skills to be able to live "wild and free".  Life in the wild can be brutally violent and end quickly without wild born and learned survival skills and even then life may be short.   Many large predator species are zoo residents because they had come into conflict with humans or had injuries that made it improbable for them to survive in the wild.   

 

Animals may understand they are restrained - the result is the fence/enclosure pacing often seen -  but to believe that animals have any concept of "freedom" or "captivity" is a form of anthropomorphism previously mentioned.   They react to their environment.

 

 

 

 

It does seem to be important for photographers who want to make a name for themselves in the wildlife field to be very honest about where images were taken. I remember a big brouhaha when Art Wolfe cloned in a zebra when he wanted an image totally filled with stripes. Even though he had put the information in the caption it seemed to bother some wildlife photographers. I don't think I have hurt my chances for sales by being honest,  by the way. People do sometimes want an image from a zoo.

 

There are huge differences between zoos. If you are in the US and visiting Colorado this place only has animals that were rescued from bad situations. They work to make the keeping of wild animals as pets against the law.     https://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/visit-us   You are seeing the animals from a distance as they are in huge enclosures. The viewing is from a platform high above them so the angles are not ideal. It's all set up for the benefit of the animals, not us.

 

Paulette

 

 

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4 hours ago, NYCat said:

 

There are huge differences between zoos. If you are in the US and visiting Colorado this place only has animals that were rescued from bad situations. They work to make the keeping of wild animals as pets against the law.     https://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/visit-us   You are seeing the animals from a distance as they are in huge enclosures. The viewing is from a platform high above them so the angles are not ideal. It's all set up for the benefit of the animals, not us.

 

Paulette

 

 

Indeed - all "zoos" are not the same. 

 

We visited the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana last year.  It's just outside the Yellowstone NP west entrance.   A very nice rehab/educational center with the welfare of the animals a center piece.   The visit rewarded me with images I would never be able to obtain otherwise.     

https://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/about/

 

Their animals look to be very well taken care of.  We visited in the morning and the wolves were calling to each other.  Believe me - there is nothing like hearing the sound of wolves howling to each other from close up.

 

 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...

I just wanted to check in quickly and apologize for never having gotten a chance to read the later posts on here. I've been busy with some other creative projects over the past several months, so I've had to reprioritize my creative foci. But thanks to all who took time to contribute their thoughts, and I hope to get a chance to take a look at them all at some point when I have more time on my agenda.

 

Good luck with your shooting, everybody!

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On 03/09/2019 at 12:37, John Mitchell said:

 

I wonder if there ever has been much of a demand. None of mine has ever licensed as stock, but then I don't have very many. 

I’ve sold images of my parrot. She was bred in captivity and knows no other life. She seems content, whistling, talking and playing. She loves riding on my shoulder as I do housework. I know this because she makes a bloop (water drop) sound when she’s happy, plus she kisses my cheek with a big ole smack sound. Then we have a cuddle, as she bends her neck for a head scratch. 
I feed her a varied diet mainly consisting of steamed mixed vegetables, boiled egg, fruit, pasta, almonds (for calcium) and bits of meat for protein.

I love her dearly and she is bonded to me. Yet sometimes I feel guilty because her breed was meant to fly free in Africa. Her life there, though, most likely would be half what it is in captivity.

She escaped once and the last I saw her at dusk she was being chased by wild birds. She spent the night terrified in a tree, and after we found her at dawn, she sat on my shoulder for a day, plastered against my neck muttering, “it’s ok, it’s ok.” She’s a healthy 25 year old. But this has nothing to do with a zoo.

When I’ve been to a parrot containment that allowed entrance in a zoo, the birds flew about the large enclosure that had trees, landing on me, happily whistling, chirping and seemingly having loads of fun. I didn’t feel sorry for them like I did the leopard pacing back and forth with glassy eyes. Of all the animals, it was the big cats that hurt my heart.

Betty

 

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Zoos, safari parks, game reservers etc can all vary from total extremes and I do not think there is anyway to say that as a whole they are or are not ethical because some are and some are not.

A lot of establishments now have exhibits purely from "pet" rescues or illegal smuggling.  These animals often have issues from their previous situation that require a lot of specialist care.  They cannot be released to the wild so the option is put them down or put them in zoos that are experts at rehabilitation.  If you visit a zoo that tells you there is no guarantee you will see any animal because all the animals have access to large private areas, if that zoo is getting breeding results in rare species, and if the animals are long lived then I think that is the best place such animals can be - and totally beats putting animals down because idiot humans screwed them over in the first place.  It might not be the wilds but it is still a good result.

 

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The zoo question is a fine topic, but such a tiny infinitesimal point of concern in comparison to habitat destruction and global warming as to be moot. Start by not buying any product with palm oil / palmitate etc. to start , and buy bird friendly coffee beans. Rev your engines!

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