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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Hitting a Wall

Published 07/14/10
By Susan Trout, Program Assistant

News reached us this morning that the Dallas Zoo's plans to add three zebras to its Giants of the Savanna exhibit hit a wall, literally, Saturday morning. A 1 1/2 year-old male Grant's Zebra died after being startled and running into a wall, breaking his neck.

Not the first Zebra to die at this zoo, they spoke of losing another — a male Hartman Mountain Zebra a few months before in a similar incident. It was also disclosed that two other new Zebras came to them in such poor health that they returned them to the private facility from where they had been acquired.

The article is full of disconcerting, troubling news. What will happen to the two Zebras they decided to return? If these animals are in such poor health, have zoo authorities taken steps to bring this to the attention of the USDA's Animal Plant and Health Inspection Division, or have they simply sent the Zebras back the way a person would return damaged goods, asking for a "refund"? Something doesn't sit right with this whole scenario.

The fact that they admitted it is "tricky when you're dealing with such a high-strung animal" raises questions about whether precautionary measures were taken in handling this young Zebra, especially considering they had lost another Zebra in much the same way.

Two wild Zebras died because they had the misfortune of being "captive" animals in a zoo. Would they have faced even more perils in the wild? Possibly — but they also had the chance to be the wild animals they were born to be. Captivity raises many questions — one of the most critical being:

Are wild animals really better off in a captive situation?

Take a few moments and look over this Exhibited Animals Incidents list.

Then you decide!

Born Free's mission is to PROTECT wildlife in the wild and work tirelessly to educate people in the animals' native lands; to inspire them to want to preserve the wild areas where these creatures live and thrive. Take a moment and write a letter to the Dallas Zoo, info@dalzoo.org, to let them know how you feel about these senseless deaths.

The U. S. mail address is:
Dallas Zoo and The Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park
Conservation Education and Science Department
650 South R. L. Thornton Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75203

Thank you for taking an active role in helping us help animals! We couldn't do it without you!

Til next time,

Susan

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