We went to the game farm this afternoon and felt nothing but saddened at the conditions that the animals were living in. We felt guilty for having patronized an establishment that keeps animals in such poor conditions. The place looks like it is well past its prime. It is in need of upkeep/updating and the animals are kept in conditions that would have been substandard even a decade ago.
The enclosures/cages are in shabby shape and the animals are not living in any type of habitat that is even remotely close to the conditions that they would live in if they were in the wild. While I realize that the animals cannot be released from captivity, the park could adopt a more humane approach to their enclosures/cages and re-fashion them as modern and reputable zoos have done so that the animals live in an environment that bears some resemblance to the animal’s natural habitat. Mind you, I am not against keeping animals in captivity per se, but they should not be kept in enclosures fashioned of concrete pipe, chain link fencing and gravel.
The walking tour was off limits today when we were there, but sadly, we did get a glimpse of a lion lying in a gravel floored cage that appeared much too small for this type of animal. We also saw a lone wolfe enclosed in a similar type of cage. The cages along the walking tour were especially troubling. They were fashioned from concrete, plywood and chain link fencing. They were small and in close proximity to one another. They resembled a shabby dog kennel versus any type of zoo/animal park that would house wild animals. It was troubling to think of Tigers, Lions, and Cougars living in these small cages and we were glad that we were spared seeing them in this deplorable state.
While, it is entertaining to feed a yak or a buffalo, I could not help but think that white bread was probably not the healthiest thing to be feeding a wild animal. I was also troubled that the staff did not give any guidelines on feeding the animals as we entered the park and there appeared to be no controls in place to assure that the animals were only being fed foods that would not upset their digestive systems. We did not see a single staff person once we began the driving tour. The only staff that we saw were at the gift shop and taking money at the gate. Nobody was monitoring what was actually being given to the animals and people were allowed to bring in outside food for feeding the animals.
Kids may appreciate seeing the animals because they can overlook their unnatural and shabby surroundings, but adults who have been to professionally run zoos such as the Woodland Park Zoo or the San Diego Zoo will likely be saddened/troubled by the experience. This roadside zoo is much like zoos in third-world countries where animal rights is an unheard of concept.
I will not patronize this establishment again and would encourage others who are concerned for the humane treatment of animals in captivity to donate their money to charities that advocate for the humane treatment of animals, rather than to give their money to an establishment that seems to only care about lining their pockets since it is painfully obvious that they haven't invested much of their annual proceeds in upkeep of the farm or to improve the living conditions of the animals who line their pockets with cash.
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