Disturbing, to say the least. Thank you, Lola, for providing the link to the article. Ironic that one of the photos featured a woman whose T-shirt reads, ”Totally Lost.”
No animal in captivity is really wild. Exotic, probably. Dangerous, maybe. Well-treated? Good question.
I’ve seen bored-looking horses and donkeys on Hydra Island, Greece and in Firenze, Italy, some harnessed to wagons or carts. Presumably, they’re cared for; their health and ability to carry or pull loads is essential to their owners’ livelihoods.
We rode camels in the desert in Morocco this January, certainly easier than walking in loose sand in the dunes. They seemed to be a continuation of a long-standing means of transportation, but now I have to wonder just how well they’re treated. They didn’t have spiked shackles on their legs, at any rate, and I seriously doubt they were fed flavored yogurt, like the anteater mentioned in the article.
At Closing Day at the Mary Jane ski area last Sunday, a fellow skier said he and his wife, parents of a US Olympic skier, had gone to South Africa and Zimbabwe last fall, partly to see Victoria Falls, but to also see wild animals. He said they saw an incredible variety of birds and a cheetah calmly walked by their safari Jeep. They also visited an animal rescue/rehab facility. Didn’t ask if he’d posted any photos but contrived photo ops don’t seem to be his style. I mentioned I’d heard a report on NPR in the past couple of weeks about South African lion killing operations, where only male lions are kept, so that would-be Big Game Hunters can show up, pay a hefty fee, and pick exactly which big-maned lion they want to shoot. The lion is then released, to be shot and then used for a souvenir photo with the “hunter.” Pay the money and you, too, can be Teddy Roosevelt. The phrase “shooting fish in a barrel” comes to mind. Pressure is on South Africa to halt allowing these businesses that arrange the of killing of enclosed lions for amusement and photos of the killer’s dubious achievement.
I’ll say that a painting by an elephant actually sounds interesting, but certainly not if it was coerced by a nail pressed into its face.