Land and Water Animals


JBtheExplorer

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I love going to the zoo, but I understand your concerns.


I get it. When I was a kid, the zoo was a magical place. I loved it. I dreamed of working at a place like that. I always thought "when I grow up and have money, I'll visit every weekend". Instead, as I grew up, I started visiting less. I just can't do it anymore. I'm not saying I'd never go again, but it's not likely. I don't enjoy it anymore.


I always knew that life in a zoo was not nearly as good as life in the wild, but as I got older, I realized more and more just how true that is. I think the last straw for me was seeing Stella the jaguar laying in the exact same spot every time I saw her. Just laying there, gazing into nothing. I took three or four photos exactly like this over the span of 5 or 6 years. Nearly every time I've seen her she was in that exact same spot, with that same look. Other animals, as well.

I tried to ignore what was obvious. I thought about how safe and well fed she is in her enclosure compared to the difficult wilderness. She's also likely to live twice as long in captivity, but at what cost? A long empty life isn't a life at all. All I could do is look at her and think "clearly this is an animal not enjoying life." People are standing around smiling and pointing at her, and she's suffering. She's forced to be on display in a very small exhibit, with nothing to do, not even so much as leaves to brush against. She lives with her thoughts and nothing else. She's likely the most beautiful (non-human) animal that I've ever seen, and I really wish she could've enjoyed life. :cry:

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A few years back they paired her with a wild-caught jaguar named Pat and she had two cubs. She watched one of them get killed by another male jaguar (possibly another cub of hers from a couple years earlier) mistakenly let into the exhibit by a zoo worker. There's no doubt that deaths like that happen in the wild all the time, but there's a difference between it happening naturally rather than it happening in a small enclosure with no chance to hide or escape.


I do think that some animal species can handle captivity a little better than others. It's usually obvious which animals are relatively happy and which aren't. Those that have larger enclosures with more enrichment tend to be happier, but that's not always true.

I also know that Pat the jaguar had only two options: Death or prison. He was killing livestock in Belize and they chose to put him into captivity instead of killing him. Between those two choices, it's better that he was put into captivity. He died last August.
 
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Great pictures everyone! Its lovely to see such an assortment of animals. (y)

I agree with all that you say @JBtheExplorer . We have just a few zoos here in Britain and the tendency now is to create wildlife parks. Although the animals are still captive the enclosures are much larger and gives the like of the big cats an area to roam and hide in undergrowth etc., much closer to their original habitation.

@alp would that be Chessington Zoo you were speaking of? I love Meerkats, they are great characters. I took some shots a few years ago at a wildlife park......

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Great pictures everyone! Its lovely to see such an assortment of animals. (y)

I agree with all that you say @JBtheExplorer . We have just a few zoos here in Britain and the tendency now is to create wildlife parks. Although the animals are still captive the enclosures are much larger and gives the like of the big cats an area to roam and hide in undergrowth etc., much closer to their original habitation.

@alp would that be Chessington Zoo you were speaking of? I love Meerkats, they are great characters. I took some shots a few years ago at a wildlife park......

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I love Chessington Zoo - the best for family. Now they even have an aquarium. We went to Whipsnade. I must upgrade my camera. Your photos are delicious, so much details. What camera is that please?

I love meerkats.. Remember them hogging the heater in Easter in Chester Zoo .. Shame we went there too early in the year and it's so cold that very few animals could be seen.
 
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It must be at least thirty years since I last went to Chessington @alp and I've only been to Whipsnade once as a child. Like JB I tend to avoid them now, it's so sad to see the animals penned in.

I have two cameras, one is a DSLR and the other a Bridge camera, both are Canon's. I think I probably took the photo's on the DSLR. If you invest in a new camera.... Bridge cameras tend to have an electronic viewfinder and that can be a nightmare when trying to take shots of anything moving as it takes a while to set itself up. I bought it for distance shots as I couldn't afford the large lenses for my DSLR, usuallly starting at around £1000 new for the cheaper ones.
 

JBtheExplorer

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I have two cameras, one is a DSLR and the other a Bridge camera, both are Canon's. I think I probably took the photo's on the DSLR. If you invest in a new camera.... Bridge cameras tend to have an electronic viewfinder and that can be a nightmare when trying to take shots of anything moving as it takes a while to set itself up. I bought it for distance shots as I couldn't afford the large lenses for my DSLR, usuallly starting at around £1000 new for the cheaper ones.

I've recently been looking at cameras so I'd have an idea of what my next upgrade will be. I'll likely be getting a bridge camera. They're considerably more affordable than DSLRs and still get the job done without needing to buy additional lenses. They do have their flaws, but those flaws are what I'm already used to dealing with.
 
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I've recently been looking at cameras so I'd have an idea of what my next upgrade will be. I'll likely be getting a bridge camera. They're considerably more affordable than DSLRs and still get the job done without needing to buy additional lenses. They do have their flaws, but those flaws are what I'm already used to dealing with.

If you haven't used an electric viewfinder before @JBtheExplorer it's worth while having a trial before buying if possible. I've found it almost impossible to photograph anything that's moving at speed, the viewfinder just doesn't react quick enough.
 

JBtheExplorer

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If you haven't used an electric viewfinder before @JBtheExplorer it's worth while having a trial before buying if possible. I've found it almost impossible to photograph anything that's moving at speed, the viewfinder just doesn't react quick enough.

I know all about that. My old camera had an EVF. I didn't mind it, but I understand that the delay between what it shows and what's really happening isn't ideal.

On the other hand, my current camera is a point & shoot with nothing but a super reflective screen to look at. So, not only is there a delay, but you're also basically looking at a mirror instead of a screen. An EVF would be a huge upgrade for me, but I can't complain either, because it proved itself during two airshows last year, which are the ultimate test of finding something tiny and fast to capture.
 
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I get it. When I was a kid, the zoo was a magical place. I loved it. I dreamed of working at a place like that. I always thought "when I grow up and have money, I'll visit every weekend". Instead, as I grew up, I started visiting less. I just can't do it anymore. I'm not saying I'd never go again, but it's not likely. I don't enjoy it anymore...

Dude, I feel the exact same way. I was once to a zoo in a foreign country and it was the saddest thing ever. The cages were dirty, the animals underfed, but the saddest thing was the tiger. He was the only tiger in the zoo and he was missing one foot. I kid you not. He gave out strange noises as if calling to somebody, maybe he was in pain, maybe losing his mind. The people who worked there didn't care and looked tired and depressed. It was heartbreaking. As far as I know that tiger is no longer in that zoo, but I don't know what happened to him.
 
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JBtheExplorer

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Dude, I feel the exact same way. I was once to a zoo in a foreign country and it was the saddest thing ever.


Some countries seem to have no standards when it comes to zoos. Even the best zoos in the world are typically not an appropriate environment, but some zoos provide nothing more than a tiny concrete slab.


I think it's hard for a lot of people to fully process that humans are just one of 8 million living species on our planet. We have a bad habit of treating other species like they are less than us. We're no better than other animals, we just got lucky enough to be apart of the specie whose intelligence skyrocketed over the last 200,000 years. We should be using that intelligence to help other species. We're the only specie capable of saving and protecting the planet. Coincidentally, we're also the only specie that can destroy it.
In a sci-fi sense, we're a super hero who just got his super powers and he has to decide if he's going to use them for good or evil.
 
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