Recently I had the experience of going to a zoo that was owned by a family. It was a small zoo, but had an extensive array of exotic animals. There were exotic farm animals, like the large horned cattle of India, and a plethora of rescued and abandoned reptiles, but they also had tigers, and lions.
I was disturbed by this zoo. The lions, Bengal tiger, Siberian tiger and the leopard especially unnerved me. They were in these small enclosures with high metal fencing. They had enough room to roam as much as a master bedroom. Too small for such large predators.
I innocently asked one of the workers how they had acquired the two male lions that shared their enclosure. He informed me that they were purchased from an out of state exotic animal breeder and that they were four year old brothers. Who breeds exotic animals as a business? That fact unsettled me the most. Wild animals, full of instinct and fervor, bred like domestic dogs or cats.
There is something wrong with that. It doesn’t settle into my chest. It’s like an angry fluttering bird in my ribcage ricocheting off the sides screaming.
Breeding something wild, majestic and beautiful in its predator grace to serve as passing entertainment for us hyper-evolved primates feels instinctually wrong.
I can not find a more apt word besides: It is WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
I would hate to have my deepest soul (the DNA that vibrates in ever cell) bred behind a cage, to live in a cage, to die in a cage for the entertainment of a slighter more evolved species. Can’t we as humans evolve beyond the desire to tame that which is meant to be wild?
Can’t we let all the wild things in this world be just that, wild and free?