Thursday, September 15, 2005

Maggie deserves better, don't you think?

They are building a treadmill for a zoo elephant in Alaska. Her name is Maggie and she's from Zimbabwe. She was too heavy at ~9,000 lbs so they have had her on a diet combined with exercise for about a year and they think she's lost 1,000 lbs.

This is a sad story. First of all, she's in a zoo. Second, she's alone as her female companion died in 1997. Elephants are not solitary animals. Third, she lives in Anchorage. Poor Maggie! No wonder she let herself go! Where's the quality of life?

I have mixed feelings about zoos. I've enjoyed visiting them, and sometimes they gather valuable information from studying zoo animals, but basically most zoos are just prisons and for the most part I don't think they should exist. I mean, we cringe at those roadside zoos and snake farms, but going to a big city zoo is family entertainment. Maybe it's because the roadside zoos (at least the ones in Texas) don't have penguins. That would be equivalent to keeping a lone elephant in Alaska. People are strange...

The zoo in Austin is an exception, I think. Most, if not all of their animals are rescues. They've got everything from failed pets to ex-Circus animals. I will NEVER go to a Circus that includes animals unless I'm there to protest it. They are just wrong!

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