At the Berlin Zoo, it's a short distance between the petting zoo and the wolves' habitat. But it can apparently also be the distance between being lovingly caressed by children and being dismembered by bloodthirsty predators.(via reader Ken R.)
Crowds at the zoo were shocked Thursday as they watched wolves savagely jostle each other to get their piece of a recently killed goat. . .
In simple terms, it's an issue of animal overflow in a man-made environment without any predators. As Ragnar Kühne, the zoo's curator, told the mass-circulation daily Bild: "When we have too many goats in the petting zoo, we usually give them to farms or private persons. But if we can't get rid of them, we have them appropriately slaughtered and fed to carnivores."
Although some people might find it troubling that the wolves were fed in broad daylight and right in front of zoo visitors, the real issue of controversy seems to be that it happened in the wake of a series of shocking and mistrust-fomenting revelations about this and other German zoos.
For one, it might strike some as strange that this goat -- which was in perfectly good health -- should be killed this way after Bernhard Blaszkiewitz, the zoo's director, told Die Welt a few months ago that the park didn't kill surplus hoofed animals and feed them to other animals. "We don't do this," he insisted. "But, of course, it might happen that a deer breaks its neck, and then we allow the corpse to be eaten."
A zoo spokesman later clarified the statement saying that Blaszkiewitz had been referring to "wild" hoofed animals, such as, antelopes, zebras and deer, rather than to "domestic" hoofed animals, such as sheep, goats, cows and pigs.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Can't Change A Tiger's Stripes?
From the June 6th Der Spiegel: