Travel Theme: Animals

This is my entry for Alisa’s Travel Theme “Animals”. It comes with a sad story.

I took this picture in April, when I went to the Cologne zoo with a friend and her daughter.  The Siberian tiger family was enjoying a sunny spring day and a bath.  The three cubs had a great time chasing each other around the enclosure and terrorizing their parents. All in all a beautiful scene.

However, there was a quite dramatic accident at the zoo in late August. Altai, the male tiger (on the right in the picture), managed to access a building  a zoo keeper was working in and attacked and killed the woman.  The zoo’s director  had to shoot the tiger in an attempt to save the woman’s life (tranquilizing was not an option since it would have taken to long). Some of you might have heard about the incident. It was a big topic in German media and led to heated discussions about zoos in general and who was to blame for the two deaths.

To me it was a tragic accident based on human error. The highly trained and experienced keeper apparently left a security gate open. The tiger did what is in his nature.  And the zoo director had to prioritize the possible rescue of his staff member over the animal’s life. He later called it the darkest day of his life.

I think it is important that we keep questioning the right balance between our duty to preserve endangered species and the possibility to provide appropriate habitats in zoos. I hope that these tragic events will be good for at least this much.

If you’d like more info, click here for an English article about the accident.

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3 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Animals

  1. Pingback: Autumn in the Cologne Zoo « Yoolie's

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