Often have I wondered how animals in a zoo, safari or a national park would feel. Would they be sad or does their situation make it poignant for us?
Let us take the case of the big Cats. From my post-graduate studies in Ecology, I knew that Tigers needed about 25 Sq Km for males wherein 3-4 females could be found in this area. Now that may be contrasted to the small caged enclosures in Zoos. How can a free-ranging animal like the tiger be confined to such cramped surroundings? What effect would it have on its mental and physical state?
As studies have shown, the life expectancy of some zoo animals is lesser than those in the wild. However, zoos have animals living in controlled conditions, with optimal nutrients, no predators, proper disease care. Yet, the mental and physical states of animals in captivity still evokes a feeling of sadness.
Watching a butterfly flying free and seeing one bred and released into a butterfly park evokes different emotions. Why is it so?
Is it because we are seeing ourselves in the a kind of a conundrum with our lives? Do we ever experience the freedom of flying free…. or are we so besotted with ‘roti’, ‘kapada’ and ‘makhan’ that we have forgotten how to live????