"Perfectly Disrespectful" To Zoo Animals - The Reykjavik Grapevine

“Perfectly Disrespectful” To Zoo Animals

Published August 8, 2015

Photos by
US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A seal researcher is flummoxed at the Icelandic practice of killing zoo animals and feeding them to other animals.

Sus­an C. Wil­son, the director of Tara Seal Research (TSR) in Northern Ireland, told MBL she was taken aback by recent news of a baby seal being captured after escaping the Reykjavík Family Park And Zoo, only to be killed and fed to foxes.

“I had never heard of such a practice anywhere until I got this news from Reykjavík,” she told reporters. “To my mind, this is perfectly disrespectful towards the animals in the zoo’s care. We’re not talking about some domesticated animal, but a wild animal, which is in custody to educate people about their history and behaviour.”

Susan points out that it would have cost nothing to simply release the animal into the wild, perhaps with a GPS tag to keep track of its life on the outside. She points to TSR’s own Rehab Diary as an example.

“To slaughter this baby seal shows a distinct lack of caring and compassion for the animals that the zoo decided to take responsibility for,” she said. “To kill a baby seal, and use it as food for an Arctic fox, has no place in the work of a zoo employee.”

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