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Wildlife in Australia » Blogs » Australian Animal Conservation

  • Australian Animal Conservation

    Posted by EDrury46 January 17, 2013 - 292 views - 0 comments - 0 likes - #australia    #Wildlife  #Australia Zoo 

    Many people view places entitled 'zoo' or 'park' with distrust, often following beliefs that inside are animals that are encouraged to 'perform' to the public as a money raising scheme. I visited a couple of places with the words 'zoo', 'park', 'adventure land' and other such terms during my time in Australia, but something I particularly liked about them, was that the keepers there showed respect and care for their animals, and an emphasis was placed on conservation and protection of these animals, rather than what 'tricks' they can do.

     

    Yes, in places there was some element of commercialism and the entertainment factor, but this was done whilst educating the audience - particularly children - as to the animals' natural habitats, their ways of adapting to their surroundings and their need for conservation. There was in many parts, evidence of the legacies set up by Australia's naturalists, environmentalists and conservationists such as Steve Irwin and many more, including Irwin's British inspiration David Attenborough. Animals, such as crocodiles, that might not have stereotypically grabbed the attention of many children or adults (sorry for the stereotyping, but I am thinking mostly of the female population here), have become much more admired for their strength and hunter's instincts due to the education the keepers give the visitors to the parks and zoos.

     

    Visitors are encouraged to respect the animals for their wildness and naturalness, and to learn not to expect to see racing cassowary or dancing crocodiles at every corner. Yes, as I've said before there are instances when a keeper might enter a crocodile pool with a single crocodile and feed it in ways to bring it out of the water. However, this is for educational purposes - to show a crocodile's strength, their reflexes and killer instinct responses in order to get food. The animals are not forced in any way, and it is this which allows the legacies of people like Irwin to carry on even in locations like wildlife parks and zoos which don't have the same global televised outreach that Irwin's and Attenborough's shows have.

     

     

    I loved visiting these zoos and parks in Australia. They were different to other zoos I'd visited in other countries previously, and I learnt so much about the local wildlife - something that reassured me (in terms of the information they gave me regarding snakes etcetera!) and something that made me appreciate much more how amazing animals are. They can survive in tough conditions in the middle of nowhere in the Australian outback; they can defend themselves from predators several times their size; they can care for their young in ways that allow them to still maintain full functional use of their arms and legs (in terms of kangaroos and koalas); and at the end of the day, they continue to amaze people at their incredible wildness and natural beauty. 

     

    Whilst I will always treasure every time I saw an animal in the wild in Australia, I will also be always appreciative of what the zoos and parks in Australia do for the conservation and public education of their animal treasures.

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