Thursday, May 28, 2009

Man vs. Wild

I don't know exactly where to begin in voicing my opinion about the monstrosity that is Zion Wildlife Gardens in Whangarei, NZ.

It's probably been five years since the park's existance first became common knowledge around the country, when it launched as a light-hearted doco series, in which the revolting theme song was followed by half an hour of the parks owner, Craig Busch, embracing his fully grown lion amigos, cuddling his tiger cubs, and placing his bulbous red nose in the shot at every opportunity.

There's been many a drama in the life of Mr. Busch, and controversy galore, since that initial series. Alleged threesomes, a wife-beating, alleged abuse of the animals by neglect, injuries to the big cat's handlers, et cetera.

And now the latest event, which will hopefully be the straw breaking the camels back and shutting Zion down for good; a white tiger is shot dead after mauling a handler to death.

Oh how awful, he will never see his 1 year old daughter grow up...

Fuck. That.

If this individual, who one would hope given his title of Senior Cat Handler would have a huge amount of knowledge about big cats and would therefore be aware of their ability to kill things, was stupid enough to work in an environment where wild animals are treated like pussycats, then he is worthy of a Darwin Award.

Perhaps I am thus far a little harsh, and insensitive. The latter I am pretty indifferent about, but the former can be explained by my fury over the dead man's colleagues' next action of fatally shooting the animal.

Zion is a workforce of shabbily-clothed publicity-seekers masquerading as environmentalists. How can Zion be a sanctuary for a variety of amazing and rare animals, when they shoot one of them for acting on it's instincts?

If Zion hopes to repopulate the world with domestic tigers, they needn't bother. Zion Wildlife Gardens is a circus, and the endangered status of tigers takes a backseat to human ringmasters' personal gains.