EDITORIAL: Zoos an archaic practice

Another exotic creature has died at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove.

Another exotic creature has died at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove.

Jafari, a 12-year-old male giraffe, was found dead inside its barn on Nov. 3.

It is the third giraffe to perish at the zoo, after Jafari’s mate Eleah, 23, and their male offspring, Amryn, 4, died last year.

It’s not yet known what caused Jafari’s death, although initial necropsy results seem to rule out low body fat and cold temperatures, as some initially thought. The investigation continues.

In each instance of the giraffes’ demise, public reaction has included sadness, concern, and in some cases, harsh criticism of the facility, which has had a disturbing string of deaths among its animal inhabitants over the past several years, including a hippo and four zebras.

Negligence was not found to have been a factor in the deaths of the creatures.

However, the fact of the matter is that exotic creatures found only in climates and countries vastly different than what exists here, are being imprisoned for the entertainment and “education” of people.

It is an archaic practice that must come to an end.

Species such as elephants, giraffes and big  jungle cats are intended to roam across vast expanses of terrain.

Education can no longer be used as an excuse to put them inside enclosures and cages, where they languish – and are ogled by people – until they die.

Neither is it justification to say they were born in captivity. As long as zoos allow the animals to breed, the cycle will never end.

The point is that wild animals don’t belong in zoos. Period.