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Replacing cages with streaming feeds of animals -- an air zoo.

Zoos arose when access to animals either did not happen at all, or required grueling travel. Theoretically, zoos brought the exotic creatures of the world home in fascination (less charitably, in domination). Mostly, they were sad places for animals and people alike. Cramped, concrete jungles, too often in urban environments.

Perhaps, zoos improved on taxidermy. The denizens of “natural history” museums teaching children, teaching us, that Big Life is glass eyed and moth eaten – as far from the true ethos of wildlife as it could be. If zoos improved on the shotgun schools of zoology, however, it was marginal. Nothing is itself in a cage. As the Toronto City council to its credit recently concluded before sending Thika, Toka and Iringa to a California sanctuary, elephants do not belong in Toronto.

Today we have every possible means of observing animals in their natural element or large open sanctuaries. The NPS's live webcam of brown bears salmon fishing at Katmai is a perfect and excellent example! As science museums have evolved to present what is new in new ways, so we should encourage zoos to do the same, by moving animals to legitimate open space sanctuaries and bringing the images at home.

Imagine streaming feeds of formerly caged animals in sanctuaries. Imagine an “air zoo" that would truly allow our children, would allow us, to appreciate what it is to be a tiger, a lion or an elephant. And would do it in ways zoos do not and simply cannot achieve – close up, resting and foraging, interacting with their companions, being themselves. It also would conform to our evolving sense of proper treatment and care of animals, as the Toronto City Council has proved with its pioneering decision. Finally, it would keep zoos out of the exotic animal trade, an increasingly problematic relationship that troubles more and more of us past distraction.

Zoos can evolve better and faster, and should.


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  • Nov 25 2013: Like the buycott idea ..

    shaming ..exposing ..displaying ..probably would need to start with myself..nobody is perfect..

    TLD's top level domains..yes sorry about the paranoia but somebody might see the opportunity as we speak and grab it right now for that purpose...I would say .me .tv .info and .org latter 2 are usually quite cheap and hostgator's prices are reasonable.
    • Nov 25 2013: Thank you. I will pick up .tv, .me, .info and .org, via hostgator tonight. This actually worried me, so I'm really glad you've brought it up, as I'm behind in getting it done.
    • Nov 25 2013: agreed on the nobody's perfect. we'll all keep each other honest. .me, .org, .info, were easy. .biz and .com, I did what I could. since 501(c)3's are .orgs, anyway, I'm ok with that. for now.

      we now have:

      • Nov 26 2013: I suspected you were quietly working away in the background ..well done !!..

        I think is sufficient

        The worlds will be ideal for any 3D sites.
        • Nov 26 2013: I'm so glad you liked the worlds -- I thought it made sense for all sorts of reasons, and it was an easy get. Cheers, Elise
      • Nov 26 2013: lol! new week, apparently, allowing me to thumbs up your comment again! Awesome... really appreciate how you grasp and move and act! When I first entered this conversation, I had no idea you were already so far into and running with this already! Bravo! So exciting!

        And Anthony, I have not the foggiest about 3D or bots or a lot of what you are sayin', but I sure do appreciate it, because I know it's these tech details, organizing them well, that allow this magic to happen.

        Elise, do you have to "invite' us to the wordpress site for us to be able to post there?
        • Nov 27 2013: Mary, not far at all, but you and Anthony have been marvelous in helping me take the right steps forward. I really like the domain names, and your mantra is marvelous.

          I am interested in how a bot would work. Doubtless, this is wholly wrong, but my superficial NYT-based information related, if I am recollecting correctly, to an allegation that a bot was employed to simulate a human social media interaction, i.e., to communicate apparent interest in a topic for which there was no interest, in fact. How would we use them?

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