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February 21, 2013
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Letter: Concerned for Wildlife Safari animals

Concerned for Safari animals

In little more than a year, two giraffes — Kipandi and Hodari — have died at Wildlife Safari. Kipandi was six years old and Hodari was 15.

It is my hope that these deaths cause people to pause and re-evaluate Wildlife Safari. More than 500 animals are contained in the 600-acre park, yet the Wildlife Safari website boasts that the animals are “in their natural habitat freely roaming much as they do in the wild.” But the fact is that this is essentially an animal-themed amusement park.

The presence of a petting zoo, camel rides, a so-called elephant car wash, and a lion tug-of-war (with a lion on one end of the rope and park-goers on the other) makes it clear that Wildlife Safari is first and foremost about amusing park-goers and treating animals like entertaining exhibits. If further evidence is needed, the “Uganda Railway” train running through the Village area should suffice.

The cheetah breeding program, which often earns praise for the park, serves largely to fill cages and exhibits at other zoos. Wildlife Safari’s website says “... (cheetah) cubs born at the park have populated zoos across the U.S.” Yet many people respect Wildlife Safari precisely because it is perceived as being somehow different than a zoo. They fail to realize that Wildlife Safari is the breeding ground for other facilities that they rightfully condemn.

In short, animals do not belong in captivity. And they do not exist for our amusement.

Ian Smith

Roseburg


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The News-Review Updated Mar 4, 2013 10:58AM Published Mar 5, 2013 01:40PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.