Around the world there has been outrage at the death of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. At CWI, we were the first to post a shareable image on social media expressing outrage at this tragic event. However, rather than entering the "blame game" of the parents v the zoo, we ask every person to consider why the zoo exists in the first place? Why was Harambe there? Why was the child able to access a large and potentially dangerous wild animal?
This is the statement we issued on our Facebook page under our graphic, which has now beenviewed by well over two MILLION people:
We oppose animal captivity. True conservation work takes place in situ. Using the word "conservation" to describe the activity of zoos reproducing endangered species for the purposes of maintaining them in zoos is inappropriate. That is simply a form of species collection...of creating a living encyclopedia, at the expense of others. It does not ensure the long-term survival of any species. While there may be some zoos that do some legitimate conservation work, those zoos are in the minority. Zoos are primarily entertainment facilities that survive off the back of animals who are deprived of any semblance of a normal life. We advocate for legitimate animal sanctuaries, legitimate in situ conservation efforts, and the use of technology to properly educate individuals on the plight of animals in the wild. It is counterproductive to continue to play the "blame game" regarding this situation. We are all at fault for allowing the captivity of wild animals in the first place. Turn your anger into productive action. Educate yourself on the myth of conservation and zoos. Educate yourself on how you can support legitimate conservation efforts. Teach your children that all life has value and all beings have a right to live without suffering unnecessarily at the hands of others.