» Uncategorized » And in Other News, Our Tigers Were Given a Special Summer Treat of Food and Water

And in Other News, Our Tigers Were Given a Special Summer Treat of Food and Water

A little segment on the news at the gym caught my eye earlier this morning. It was about some polar bears at some zoo getting a “special summer treat” of snow. The contrived whimsy of the situation was painful. They showed footage of the bears rubbing themselves in the snow as delighted zoo patrons watched them with big smiles. Moments earlier, another segment covered the horror of some animal being saved at the last minute after being left in a hot car by some monster of an owner.

I understand that polar bears don’t have to be in the snow to survive. I also understand that animals die far too frequently, especially in Phoenix, because their irresponsible owners left them in the car in the heat. That said, there’s something seriously wrong when people get the equivalent of the death penalty in the court of public opinion for leaving an animal in a hot car, yet the public applauds a zoo for giving an animal native to the Arctic Circle a little bit of snow to play in after forcing it to live most of its life someplace where it’s probably miserable because of the heat. People wouldn’t have such a lighthearted view of the dog-in-the-car situation if they ran a news story about how the owner cracked the window as a special summer treat.

I’m no zoo expert, but it seems to me that, if you’re going to have a polar bear in your zoo, you might want to give it snow all the time. They clearly like it. People may also want to think twice about condemning someone for leaving an animal someplace too hot if they’re going to use the next breath to muse about the cuteness of leaving another animal someplace too hot but giving it a little bit of something cool that it enjoys.

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