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What do you think about zoos and aquariums in Japan?

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When I think of zoos in Japan I think of that pitiful Polar bear pacing back and forth in 40c heat at Ueno. Zoos can and should play an important role in sustaining threatened species but not in 1970's style concrete enclosures. I'd rather see 10 species in a 200 acre park roaming with some freedom then 200 animals in cages in 20 acres.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't think that's always the case. I visited BioPark in Nagasaki, and the animals seem to have quite a bit of natural environmental space to play around.

Actually, to be honest, the BioPark was one of the coolest zoos I've been to. There was even an interactive exhibit with 2 species of wild monkeys that would jump on your back and eat raisins and fruit out of your hand. That, and some of the lemurs were walking around the park and you could feed them and even pet them.

I'm not a zoo person, but if you go to the right place in Japan, I think you can find specific parks with the kind of animals you're interested in. From penguin habitats to monkey habitats, I've been pretty impressed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree with SimondB about the cages and poor environment, but at least you don't hear about Japanese zoos deliberately breeding animals that are 'surplus to requirements', refusing to let them go to other establishments that are willing to take them, then shooting, butchering and feeding them to the other animals in full view of an audience of children.

And proudly calling it 'conservation'.

And saying it was such a 'success' they're thinking of doing it again.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/feb/09/marius-giraffe-dissected-copenhagen-zoo-video

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/13/world/europe/denmark-zoo-giraffe/

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Check out the monkeys. They're the ones you should look out for in Japanese zoos - they're like sanitariums for patients will mental illnesses, except you get concrete instead of padded walls. Never will I enter a zoo in Japan again.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A precious few are ok but there are LOTS that should have be shuttered ages ago.

I remember being up in Nasu area & the Mrs spots some "Safari " thing & says lets go...........we did & OMFG!

One of the most depressing places I have ever been too!

Japanese should not but often treat animals like J-society treats its people & make them live if god awful small & sterile environments, but these "zoos" are often filthy to boot!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm against zoos anyway, so wouldn't visit the one in Ueno. However, I DID go to the big sea life centre in Nagoya. All was fine until I saw the dolphins and beluga in there, and I felt deeply upset. The Japanese family and friend I was with didn't see my expression, which I'm glad about.

Then there is the penguin 'tank'... a large area with mirrors either side giving the impression of distance. I don't know if it's cold in there, or if the snow and ice is real, but the surface at least looks convincing. However, there is no natural light, which must have an effect on the penguins. Couple that with hundreds of people gazing at them all day long...

As for what Cleo reported on... that's just disgusting. And now another Giraffe called Marius could suffer the same fate. I hate zoos.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hate zoos and aquariums in any country. I don't like to see the animals there, and I really don't like to see the humans pointing laughing and gurgling at the obviously neurotic animals.

However I have heard the argument that exposure to animals for city people can have the effect of raising awareness of environment and animal problems in the wild. Otherwise they would have no contact or familiarity. Still, though...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Like anywhere... well, the conditions are average to good for zoos (comparing with certain other Asian countries, it's luxury). But 99% of zoos and aquariums are pure cruelty, they are created for business, for the fun, not at all for animals, nature, science nor feeding anyone. Many don't contribute at all to the preservation of species and research. Most that claim doing it just research on the side, doing the minimum so they can claim public money. There should be a big cleaning done. Only keep the real natural reservations and research centers. They are more needed than ever.

However I have heard the argument that exposure to animals for city people can have the effect of raising awareness of environment and animal problems in the wild.

All the contrary, that makes them familiar with seeing animals in captivity existing only to entertain urban humans. They think it's like Disney World, then they buy the stuffed characters for the kids. After the Amusement Zoo visit, they will get dogs, cats, any creature available, so they can get in their little home zoo, and most living toys die inside some 4 DK mini-house or mansion, or smaller flats, never see putting their paws in mud nor seeing the color of the sky.

There was even an interactive exhibit with 2 species of wild monkeys that would jump on your back and eat raisins and fruit out of your hand.

What's the point ? That's what wild monkeys do in Japanese mountains. Let them free, have people walk (not drive !) to visit their natural habitat. On the way, they may realize that trees, rivers, nature, also exist.

From penguin habitats to monkey habitats,

I've walked to both in Japan. Depressing. Not the animals, but how much pollution reaches there already.

I think you can find specific parks with the kind of animals you're interested in.

In 1850, my only chance to see lions would have been the circus or the zoo. Now, I can see them filmed in 3D, 24/24, by satellite...while they live in the wilderness. The archaic parks should close and be replaced by movie theaters,

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Zoos may be a prison for animals. But if people see the animals and become interested in environmentalism and things like that, it is for the better. It is too bad the animals cannot understand that their suffering may save their species.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

depends on the zoo or aquarium. The Nagoya Port Aquarium and Higashiyama Zoo are awful and cramped for the animals. The dolphins look depressed and bored. Only star animals get star treatment in both areas. The Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa isn't terrible though they give a lot of space and attention to all of their animals.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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