Do You Think Animal Sanctuaries are Helpful or Cruel?

Filed in Travel by on January 2, 2017 2 Comments

I am always a little nervous about touring “animal sanctuaries”. Are they conservation or con? Are they profit or non-profit? Are the animals truly unable to return to the wild, or are they moneymakers so they stay in their cages? I really don’t know the answer to the question. If, as a sanctuary claims, illegal pets, like lions, alligators and tigers, are surrendered to the sanctuary, is it okay to make a profit off of them? And the other issue for me is a “show”. It makes me uncomfortable watching an animal do “tricks” for the amusement of humans. Learning is different, I enjoy looking at and learning about an animal. I am going to share photos of a trip I took to an animal sanctuary in the Everglades. They don’t paint a nice picture of the animals in their care, but they are building new enclosures and working with vets and animal experts to improve their environment. However, it is still difficult to see them in cages.

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This is a Florida Panther, which is genetically the same as a Mountain Lion. The animal was hit by a car, and instead of putting it down, a vet did a hip replacement.

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One could tell that the hip was not 100%, but after moving around the panther became more fluid.

animal sancturies, florida panther, everglades

Coming out of its sleeping area.

animal sancturies, florida panther, everglades

They had a large swamp fenced in, which seemed big enough to me.

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Quite a large area.

animal sancturies, florida panther, everglades

A pretty small area for so many adult gators. They said they weren’t large enough yet to put in the swamp enclosure.

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This little guy made me want to cry…he was all alone in a big cage. He kept putting his paws out and wanted interaction.

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It is always difficult to see these magnificent animals in cages.

animal sancturies, florida panther, everglades

White tigers are the result of breeding Siberian Tigers with Bengal Tigers. They are selectively bred for white tigers, if there are any in the wild I’d be very surprised.

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Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Obviously well fed and cared for.

animal sancturies, florida panther, everglades

Seeing the tigers in the cage, even though they seemed healthy and well cared for, distressed me so I didn’t even photograph the lions. The white tiger was bred by someone, not taken from the wild.

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This one was alone, the fence was nearly 30 ft high. This big boy is 15 ft, and they said alligators can jump twice their length. Yikes.

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Another HUGE gator alone in an enclosure. Look at that mouth!

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This is Charlie and his handler who gave us some education and a “show”

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I did learn a lot, but I still feel uneasy about the experience.

 

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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (2)

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  1. I guess the best thing you can do is do your research beforehand really. It’s horrible thinking of animals being mistreated for profit :(.

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