Making Wildlife Viewable: Habituation And Attraction

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According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums there are over 181 million people visiting zoos annually; this is more visitors than NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB annual attendance combined. With this many people visiting places such as these, one would believe that the upkeep of zoological parks and care of their animals would be the most important part of running businesses. Most of these establishments don't enforce this type of management as much as they should, this causes more problems than if they were to follow guidelines. Recreational popularity of zoos should not determine quality of animal care; therefore there should be stricter guidelines for staff to follow of how animals should be taken care of. People go to zoos to see happy, healthy,…show more content…
In John Knight's article, “Making Wildlife Viewable: Habituation and Attraction”, he discusses how to make wildlife more readily available to view without having to capture and confine them. In modern times, viewing wildlife is a popular leisure activity and is defined as “recreational watching of wild animals in their natural habitat as opposed to zoo captivity” (167). Unlike other ways people can be around animals, wildlife-viewing is a low-impact activity that is consistent with wildlife conservation. Most people compare these wildlife-viewing tours to hunting tours. While in both people are hunting the animals, it is in a different way entirely. With wildlife-viewing it is human recreational engagement with wildlife wherein the focal animals are not purposefully removed or permanently affected by the engagement. This is so the audience can still interact with the animals if they get close enough to see them since wild animals typically avoid humans, people question how wildlife-viewing is able to occur. Knight explains that much like birdwatchers use blinds, wildlife-viewers use the “invisible man” scenario, which is similar to using blinds. Because this can become expensive and therefore unavailable to most of the people going to zoos, Hanna Morris suggests that instead of harvesting animals and having them in captivity, people should view animals in the wild, close to their own homes. This will create a stronger sense of attachment to the land that they share with the local animals. “There is nothing like the indelible thrill of meeting a wild animal on its own terms in its own element” (Ackerman, 2003, p. 41). Morris also explains that in her childhood, viewing sea turtles at her local aquarium sparked the passion that she now has for the animal and for all animals, but it is not worth it to know the hardships animals face while in captivity. The rate for these

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