Archive for October 8th, 2008

October 8, 2008

Up Close and Personal With Giraffes

Two year old giraffe attempting to eat my camera! 

There has always been, and perhaps will always be, debate on the ethics involved with keeping wildlife contained in institutions for the purpose of display, entertainment, and education.  Are visitors truly motivated by the connections they form at zoos and public aquariums to alter their lifestyles after they exit the gates?

I sincerely hope so.  Studies conducted by the Association for Zoos and Aquariums in the United States did suggest that visitors are changed by their days in our institions and that our existence has a place in the wider scope of wildlife conservation and sustainable living.  (Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter: Assessing the Impact of a Visit to a Zoo or Aquarium)

I recently had the opportunity to get up close and personal on a safari at Busch Gardens in Tampa.  Its strange; I wouldn’t get excited about meeting a bottlenose dolphin but the reticulated giraffes at Busch stole my heart with their romaine-munching ways.  If I weren’t already championing wildlife as much as possible everyday and striving towards a green lifestyle I think I would be motivated by the type of interaction during my visit.

Here are some photos from the trip:

Mountain zebra

Chimpanzees playing

Five month old white rhino

Gorgeous white tigers

Hippo butt!

Two year old gorilla relaxing

Staring out at the rain..