This past week an adult male lion killed a female lion at the Dallas Zoo. This event is extremely rare in the wild. People are shocked and zookeepers are stumped at the lion’s behavior. Let’s step back from the situation and try to put yourself in the lion’s place. You live in a cage, eat when you’re allowed to eat, and are gawked at by hundreds of people almost every day of the year. Doesn’t it make sense you would become upset and act out? This event at the Dallas zoo is to be expected. Animal captivity drives animals to the brink of insanity. This is why the tiger at the San Francisco Zoo jumped a 14′ wall to kill a kid who taunted him with stones. This is why highly intelligent creatures like orcas and dolphins lash out at each other and their keepers in moments of frustration. Animal captivity is not something we should take lightly. Step back and look at it from their perspective.
The Dallas Zoo might be an AZA accredited facility, but not all zoos are this way. Read about my work in Ghana as I visit the Kumasi Zoo (NSFW, but don’t worry… there’s puppies at the end): http://michaelgstarkey.com/2013/04/24/kumasi-bush-meat-market-life-in-captivity-and-puppies