So, I have been to many zoos and parks that have had all kinds of animals. Honestly, every time I have been to one, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I think many of the shows and performances that I have seen such as dolphin and killer whale shows have been great. Loro Parque in particular was a great day out when I was on holiday in Tenerife with my boyfriend last year. It had so many things to offer like great restaurants, great shows and interesting tours. The park portrayed itself as doing its best to help animals – not just keeping them for profit – even winning awards for it.
However, you never know what really goes on behind closed doors. People see so many documentaries on television nowadays investigating the bad practice of keeping various animals captive for profit, however many of us still go to these zoos and parks without even thinking about it – me being guilty.
This issue was particularly brought to my attention when I watched a documentary called ‘Blackfish’ on Netflix which I recommend anyone to watch. This documentary opens your eyes to the consequences of keeping killer whales captive and how trainers have been killed due to the killer whales becoming frustrated with their conditions. What shocked me was that Loro Parque was part of the discussion in this documentary and how one person was killed by one of the killer whales, previously captured for profit. Obviously, there was no mention of this from the tour guide on our tour of Loro Parque – it was more along the lines of how Loro Parque has saved these killer whales, even though they are trained to perform for us. Also, we were told that the killer whales were well looked after, but on the documentary it explained how when they were transported to Loro Parque their tanks were not even properly ready for the killer whales and as a result they had various health problems.
So, as I have said there are many zoos and parks that do their best to help many animals such as trying to avoid the extinction of endangered species. I am definitely no expert, however after watching this documentary and now understanding how intelligent killer whales are (unless they would not survive in their natural habitat), they should not be removed from it, especially for profit. It goes for all living creatures – if they are comfortable and able to live like the majority of their kind, then they should not be removed from it. I think as well really, no animal should be trained for human entertainment…ever.
Thus, I will not go and see an animal show for my entertainment again.
So, to wrap it up, by going to various zoo’s and paying for your ticket you are in many cases helping these places care for the animals correctly so I do not necessarily recommend you avoid them but any kind of entertainment that involves training them for our entertainment, you should avoid. Realistically, if zoo’s like Loro Parque were aiming just to help the animals then no shows would be required and they would just be cared for in a place as close to their natural habitat as possible, not in a clear tank for our entertainment. Yes shows generate money to care for them, but when you think about how a killer whale’s nature definitely does not include the performance of ‘tricks’ then its clearly not right.
I know I have more or less based my discussion on one documentary and as I said I am no expert, but really it is just common sense to not go to things which promote cruelty and inhumane actions whether they are obvious to us or not. I’m sure this is not everyone’s opinion and various experts at these parks would be able to argue how they are doing good for these animals but I do not think my opinion will change – animals should not be trained for human entertainment.