Dreary, laid back existence for giraffes

 It was with some dismay that I learned of the arrival of a pair of giraffes at the Emperor Valley Zoo. Undoubtedly, the idea was well intentioned, but it seems fundamentally ill conceived. Enough attention may not have been paid to relevant elements. 

These magnificent animals tend to roam tremendous distances as they routinely browse. The Serengeti and similar habitats provide them with indigenous trees and shrubs which form their daily staple. What artificial substitutes will our authorities conjure up to replace their specific diet? 

Imprisoning these beautiful beasts in their miniature enclosures will be tantamount to incarcerating a bird in a cage or, perhaps, worse. Indeed, this is equivalent to cruelty. 

These hapless creatures will primarily be deprived of their ability and opportunity to wander. Ultimately, through lack of their regular, customary exercise, deficient diet, and, maybe, psychological claustrophobia, these creatures will languish, atrophy, and eventually perish in their cramped environment. 

A dreary and sedentary existence awaits. 

   On a general note, modem zoo keeping has evolved into an extremely expensive undertaking.

 Infrastructure and accommodation are very costly. The basic trend in design points to the elimination or reduction of bars, cages, and similar enclosures, imitating the natural home of the species. This clearly involves the availability of extensive areas which facilitate the creation of manmade islets, moats, lakes, swamps, glades, parks etc., where necessary. 

We need to differentiate between a menagerie and a zoo. 

Are we capable of having, and maintaining, the latter? 

Is the Emperor Valley adequate? 

Roland Samuel


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