Wildlife Ambassadors

Instead of banning Orca captivity entirely as a California Congressman's bill does, I actually think there should be laws requiring much more humane living conditions for them. SeaWorld has done more for Orcas that anyone else by bringing them into our world. If not for SeaWorld and other major aquariums, the public wouldn't care any more about "Killer Whales" than they do about sharks, rattlesnakes, scorpions... get my drift?

Yesterday, my daughter finally dragged me to the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science (nee The Junior Museum)

If you haven't been there, TMHNS is much more a natural habitat zoo than a museum. Like virtually all zoos in the U.S., they do as much as they can within their meager budget to provide natural habitat space for wildlife. Only a few dangerous animals like poisonous snakes live in "cages" (aquariums). Most live in well fenced areas of native Florida habitat of several thousand square feet or more. Visitors are kept high above these enclosures of palmetto bushes, huge oak trees and cypress swamp on a well maintained wooden walkway. The animals ignore us most of the time.

Captive wildlife are the (admittedly unwilling) ambassadors for their species. Without them, humanity's only interest would be in killing them.

Obviously, business interests alone are insufficient to insure humane wildlife captivity. We must require it by instructing our representatives to formulate laws that cover all facilities. That way, the businesses are all "on a level playing field." All must meet the same requirements. Any that can do that will succeed. If they can't, they shouldn't be in operation.

That said, proposals like the one in California, put the issue on the radar. As it goes farther than I (and probably many people) support, it would likely be compromised down to something more reasonable so our support gives its sponsors leverage.

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