Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Teasing a tiger

Saturday found the entire family at an outing to Zoobic, the zoo attraction at the Subic Freeport Zone. It was a rainy afternoon and we managed to catch the last tour.

The highlight of the trip was the tiger safari. City slickers like us piled into a jeepney modified with passenger cage enclosure. Then we rode off into the enclosure where several tigers roamed in relative freedom. The rain actually helped because the cool weather made it conducive for the tigers to be out. Tigers, apparently, are one of the few species of big cats who like water.

One of the passengers purchased a chicken (and a very expensive dressed chicken it was) and the guide teased the tigers with it through a small enclosure on the side. What a thrill! But part of me was wondering whether it was right to be doing so.

Wasn't it cruel to be teasing such a majestic animal with a bit of chicken? Was it even right that they should be in this zoo instead of roaming out in the wild? Why were we asserting our dominance over a fellow creature?

That got me wondering how and why I felt that way. Then it dawned on me: I've been brainwashed by radical modern literature on animal rights and the environment.

Oh, I understand that it's not right to be cruel to animals. But apart from my reflexive mental reaction, what exactly was cruel about this? The cats were not hurt or wounded in any way, and they actually seemed to be having fun pushing against the jeep. Besides, 400 lbs of striped predator doesn't seem to need a whole lot of pity. They can fend for themselves.

Okay, criticize me or criticize the zoo. It was still quite an experience.

2 comments:

  1. Hell no!

    They do something similar at Davao's Crocodile Park. They have this show where crocodiles are teased with bait to stand on their hind legs that the park people call 'dancing'. Then they have a corny wire walking act.

    But the the thing that really got me steaming was the way they're treating this old and HUMONGOUS croc. Truly a magnificent looking crocodile. A Beast, and I mean that as a compliment. One of the park attendant would throw a dead chicken at it to show that it was alive. Failing that, a pole is produced to prod that old croc into moving.

    The pole does it's job well and that old croc is mighty annoyed, and so am I. I kept wishing that the old croc would stopped being annoyed and get angry and eat the damn bastard poking him!

    Bloody idiots!

    #@$%*&^ !!!

    F___ing morons!

    Stupid humans...

    - Hoovenson

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  2. I'll agree with you on the part of the old crocodile being teased. But how do you know the crocodiles standing on their hind legs are feeling particularly undignified? Maybe it's just our superior anthromorphism kicking in again.

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