A bit of ‘a stone in the shoe’ to me is private people keeping dangerous animals in captivity. Surely people who do so are a bit ‘loony’? Animals are primarily driven by instinct, they are wired differently to humans and that wiring cannot be undone no matter at what age they are adopted by their human fosters.
To illustrate how deeply animals’ instincts run we simply need to look at brood parasites amongst the birds. The chicks of these brood parasites never meet their parents and therefore they cannot learn from them. The eggs are laid in their host species nest and boom, that is the sum total of their maternal duties. How then, if not through instinct, do the chicks grow up knowing their species calls and know that they are brood parasites and know which species are their host species? Instinct – plain and simple.
No I haven’t wandered off the track but was trying to lay a foundation. Many people, particularly in America, keep animals such as tigers, lions and bears in captivity, not to mention the equally dangerous species such as monkeys and snakes. Lions and tigers feed on meat, they are carnivores and their instinct is to hunt. People manage to keep these predators for years and years and then suddenly the lion or tiger looses it OR rather finds its natural instinct and eats them! Boo hoo – now the animal is at fault so let’s euthanize it or as I prefer to say ‘kill’ the animal. Kill it for what, for doing what it has been wired to do for 10 000 years+?
Many of us have been to the Moholoholo’s of the world and been able to play with a baby lion cub. How cute are they? I don’t think there is anyone who has had this privilege who wouldn’t want one as a pet. But that’s as far as it gets. That cute lion cub will weigh around 250 kg’s when it reaches adulthood and have paws the size of dinner plates. (Tigers incidentally are bigger). Let’s be realistic about this – what chance has a person got if his ‘pet’ lion decides that it can no longer suppress its primeval instinct to attack and kill? To save you having to do the maths I will tell you; zero, zip, nada, nix, none….. need I continue?
The same applies for ‘harmless’ animals such as non-venomous snakes. Many of you have probably read that recently two young boys were killed in Canada by a python. “It’s non-venomous so it’s harmless”. Tell that to the families of the boys.
Wild animals are call WILD because their natures are WILD and they belong in the WILD.
Nigel Anderson – Guide for African Insight