After the escape (and subsequent recapture) on Thursday evening of a large silverback gorilla from London zoo, the question of animals in captivity is once again in the spotlight.
Personally I stopped going to zoos years ago after a trip to a zoo in Northern France. Two things happened. A (thankfully smallish) monkey escaped through the bars of its cage and made a bee line for my 3 year old daughter. Luckily he was more interested in the sandwich than her. After I screamed at her to ‘drop the sandwich’ he left us alone. But I was pretty shaken. We walked past the tigers very sharpish after that.
Then much more distressingly, we got to the gorillas. I had my 4 month old baby in my arms. A female gorilla rushed to the glass and became very agitated, banging on the glass and making grabbing motions towards my daughter before she started making rocking gestures with her arms. I have never seen anything as moving in my entire life. It’s something that haunts me to this day.
Having said that, I understand the need for conservation and breeding programs. But is it right for us to keep animals in captivity in this day and age? What do you think?
- No, never
- For conservation purposes only
- Not sure