31 March 2011

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Lost Cobra May Hide for Weeks, Zoo Says” (news article, March 29):

The sideshow atmosphere surrounding the lost cobra at the Bronx Zoo has yielded online hilarity and supplied material for late-night talk show hosts, but the zoo is never fun for the animals.

By putting animals in zoos, you eliminate all that is natural to them; the zoo is where they live according to humans’ feeding and breeding regimens. Captivity in zoos causes the animals to go mad, exhibiting abnormal behaviors like swaying, rocking back and forth, head bobbing, endlessly turning in circles and even self-mutilation.

The only way to learn about animals is to observe them respectfully undisturbed in their natural environments.

Rego Park, Queens, March 29, 2011