Friday, 29 November 2013

What About Those Essex Wolves?

I cannot get my mind off the incident earlier this week when Timber Wolves escaped from Colchester Zoo.  Apart from how on earth did they get out I am concerned with the over reaction to their escape. True some were "darted" and returned to their compound but at least one was shot dead.  Why?  Did the police/zoo owners think there might be real danger to the public or was it just panic?  Britain has become so sanitised over the centuries to real wildlife.  Countries as close as France and Spain live with wild populations of Wolves and although not everyone is happy including livestock farmers the majority of people do not go around scared stiff when in areas where they exist.  When in areas with Wolves it is very difficult to set eyes on one.  I am amazed that when the human race is besotted with domestic dogs they are so rabidly terrified of another dog. 

Timber Wolf photographed in Canada from 20 feet - I was quite safe.

This brings me back to Zoos.  What are they for?  If they are like Regents Park, Marwell and Chester etc and making a real contribution to nature conservation by breeding captive populations of threatened species destined for reintroduction back to the wild then surely that is a proper role.  Too many are just a menagerie for the public to gawp at exotic species in confined cages.  A way to make money but without any contribution to the conservation of the species concerned.  It is not enough to say well we are building up captive populations of threatened wildlife so everybody will be able to see them once extinction has taken place.  Maybe regulators should be stricter when licensing such establishments.  As far as Colchester Zoo is concerned watch out as they have several Tigers.  Heaven forbid if they escaped.


  1. Here in The States we have some extremely lenient laws regarding the keeping of wild animals. They vary from state to state. Two years ago a man in Zanesville, Ohio released most of the animals in his possession and then killed himself. He had recently been released from prison on a gun charge. The animals went roaming around a neighborhood and were hunted down and killed by law enforcement officials.

    From the news clipping..........
    "49 animals were slaughtered, including 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, a pair of grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon."

    This goes way, way beyond stupidity on the part of the state and the owner.

  2. I saw a film over here about that. the attitude of the police was very gung-ho. they could not wait to start shooting.