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To be or not to be.....

To be or not to be.....
Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-09-24
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron 28-300XR, Skylight
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Zoo animals, Captivity, Pretoria Zoo 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-09-26 3:21
Viewed: 5832
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I mentioned in my previous post that I do not particularly like posting images of zoo animals. Posting the koala got my thoughts going and this is why I am posting another image taken at the Pretoria zoo. I am feeling philosophical and hope to spark some kind of discussion around Zoos and the validity of them with this note.

This image is called To be or not to be..

To be or not to be in a zoo is the question Id like to ask and here is some thoughts I have on the topic:

We as mankind have destroyed so much of nature that in many cases we have to resorted to zoos to protect and maintain the population of some species from extinction. This is all good, but then I read here on TN in a lot of posts that the zoos where that particular shot was taken were dilapidated because of lack of funding. Are we going about this the right way? I dont know, but what I do know is that we should be ashamed of ourselves to treat our fellow beings this way. If one makes a commitment we should stick to it. We made a commitment to look after these animals in a zoo and then in some cases they end up suffering.

As with the Pretoria zoo which along with most other zoos here in the RSA there a lot of world class zoo facilities in the world, but why do we read about zoos that are in trouble?

My answer to this is the apathy and lack of interest by the average human being towards nature.

I have not been in a zoo for quite a long time and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of effort that is put in to match the enclosures to the natural habitat of the specimen.

Zoos are the last safe haven for some species and a lot of research is being done by zoos to ensure that these species prevail. This research can only be done on the genes and the physical side of things. the behavior of animals is totally different in captivity and research on behaviour needs to be done in the wild.

I sat at the one enclosure of about 150 square meters looking at a warthog going about in his own way. He had a routine lasting about 5 minutes in which he would do the following:

1. Grab a bite to eat
2. Perform a mock charge at the visitors as if he wanted to scare them
3. Shove his nose into the soil and lie down for minute
4. Jump up as if excited and run around the perimeter of the enclosure
5. start back at step 1

I watched him for about 30 minutes and he repeated this 5 or 6 times. The bears were cooling off in the afternoon heat and could not be bothered by the visitors.

I do understand that zoos have a vital role to fulfill in our world but why do I have the feeling that it is failing. I will touch on what I see the role of the zoo is in my next post.

I would like to encourage you to give me your views on this topic as I would like to compile it as a summary of feelings towards zoos

TAZ, Robbrown, jhm, marhowie, urban, RAP, carper, Signal-Womb, deud, touristdidi has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To deud: Thanks for commenting on my Zoo topicjapie 1 09-27 04:50
To extramundi: Thanks for you comments on my Zoo topic.japie 1 09-26 18:33
To gerhardt: Baie Dankiejapie 2 09-26 17:36
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2004-09-26 4:05]

Me too I don't like zoo. But This picture is very beautifull with goog colors and the note is very informative ! Well done !

Good image Japie a little shadows and highlights to reveal a few details in the shadowed side of the face, but thats it.
So you are too be the thought provoker here, fair enough it is a good role to have.
Zoo have a space problem with larger animals and they get their food too easily, which leads to boredom which leads to the repeditive habits you discribe, which a form of mental disturbance. This is where the larger park and reserve type places win as the aminals can be made to act more naturally by hidding food in ways that teach the animal to hunt normally. some of the wildlife parks in the UK make the lions and wolves chase a carcase towed behend a truck to make sure they get into proper hunting mode and get the right ammount of exersize.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2004-09-26 5:04]

Japie, uw tekst is altijd een documentaire, de kleuren zijn zeer mooi, het mooie detail zijn de nagels aan de voorpoot. Mooi kader ook is het in de Zoo. Mooi werk opnieuw!

Japie, I really like your theme for this and the message conveyed. Great image full of brown & tan tones. For me it is a sad photo because it depicts an apathy I seem to see often, especially in large contained mammals. Well done!!

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-09-26 9:45]

Hmmm... indudablemente no es tu mejor presentacion, pero por la belleza del animal, el colorido adorable y ese detalle de la garra en primer plano, ademas de una muy interesante nota, tienes mi calificacion positiva.

Hmmm... doubtlessly is not your better presentation, but by the beauty of the animal, colorful adorable and the that detail of the claw in first plane, in addition to a very interesting note, you have my positive rate.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2004-09-26 12:54]

Well Japie I must say, you shoot it very well in the Zoo, I really like the composition, but the eye is for me to dark. A good Zoo photo is for me an animal who looks too the camera. Farther with the note very good job

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-09-26 15:17]

There are two ways I look at this: Aww, that's what is great about being as successful as a bear - you have time to, relax in the sun. I want to come back as a bear. OR. Bears are so bored in a zoo, he;s dying of boredom. And it's the resoning I have same with zoos. How else do we folk who live in places like London get to see things like this without zoos? Do we deserve to see them? I don't know the answers. Great work Japie...

Very interesting note Japie two points for that alone. The photo is also an excellent piece. Good post.

Very good question you did.
Besides talking about zoo, I would like to say that I think the same to you about posting zoo shots in TE. I will not.
I dont mind other people do, in fact I voted a lot of them for the quality of the pic or the pose, but I dont think it fits with the spirit of TN, and I am thinking about not voting at them, we all have that right...while I think I will vote this one :D

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2004-09-27 4:25]
  • [+]

Very good picture with great warm colours! Sad thing is that one was taken in zoo.

About your question and theme: I have read a little Science Fiction story where the ET comes to our planet and steal (kidnap) a human thinking we don't have intelligence (in they oppinion). On his planet they have a cosmo zoo, where they collect species from planets. And put in this zoo homo sapiens! The human protest, scream, but - nothing. And when in the cage of homo sapiens appear some kind of mouse, and the human catch him and put it in some kind of cage, the extraterrestrials realise, that humans are intelligent and bring him back on earth!
Maybe zoo's a sign of our "intelligence"?
Sorry for my bad english and maybe a too long comment.

You asked for it...
I have read and seen many protests for and against Zoo's. Those for; plead conservation, education and valuable research. Those against; plead unnatural habitat, stressed animals and animal testing. Even so, what I do know is that miss treated, poisoned or injured wild animals get taken to our closest Zoo. They get treated and all efforts are being made to set the free into the wild again. Some cannot ever be set free. The topic is but the tip of the problem. The problem being human nature and it's lack of interest. If I were an animal I would rather be in a Zoo than in a circus or be hunted.

Nice capture Japie. To me the bear looks relaxed and comfortable and absolutely without stress. I like the colours and the composition. Interesting note but I do not want to go into the debate here.

Animals bored at best, mistreated at worst. Yet without zoos, we would never see the wonders of the world up close and for real. Animals need food, and stimulation, room to enjoy life. I think tigers and lions are often the worst victims, locked up tight in small quarters.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2004-11-04 3:16]

I was enjoying looking at all the South African animals on your pages and then I saw this bear - I thought, "Bears don't come from SA, do they?" And isn't he lovely? Thank you for showing him. In New Zealand we only see wild animals in a Zoo. In NZ we have native birds but no native mammals at all. So where else but at a zoo would we get to see any of these animals? I am enjoying your photos.

  • kamiko Silver Star Critiquer [C: 12 W: 0 N: 6] (80)
  • [2008-01-29 18:24]

very nice shot, but it's from a zoo and i hate to see animals in close, sorry :(

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