The future of African wildlife, by way of New Orleans


I no longer visit zoos. I can no longer stand to see animals pacing and suffering in such cramped cages. And if I had my way most zoos would probably not exist (certainly not as they exist now).

But then I read about initiatives like the Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife and I realize that some zoos (a few) are trying to do good.

The Alliance will be housed on a 1,000-acre property equipped with enclosures for species that have declining populations including whooping cranes, okapis, bongos and Masai giraffes. In the future, Alliance partners envision the facility will become an international center for creating populations of animals that will be self-sustaining.

The San Diego Zoo and the Audubon Nature Institute are working together to provide a sanctuary for these species. It’s not hard to imagine a time when these species only exist in captivity.

Working together to maintain an ark of endangered species is a key component of the mission of accredited zoos in the United States. These zoos work together through the auspices of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

I could pretend that these troubled African nations will somehow steady themselves and set to protecting these species. But there just isn’t much time left.

Now, does the good outweigh the bad? This is question certainly worth debate.



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