Animal Planet’s new TV program, Yankee Jungle, promotes bad attitudes with respect to keeping exotic animals and supports the discredited private zoos.
Kristina Snyder is petitioning the producers and directors of Animal Planet to drop a new television program called “Yankee Jungle” which features what Kristina describes as a roadside zoo where they breed animals for profit but which is described as a non-profit sanctuary by the zoo itself. It is scheduled to be aired on November 29, which is tomorrow.
I’m talking about the DEW Animal Kingdom & Sanctuary. It is based in Mount Vernon, Maine, USA. It has a wholesome, farm feel about it. This is what may have attracted Animal Planet.
I suppose the owners would argue that their “sanctuary” breeds and sells desirable animals such as a white tiger cub for profit so that they can keep the place going and that there is no net profit in it for them (if what they say on their website is correct). They request donations amongst other contributions such as volunteering and visiting to buy items from the gift shop.
It is argued by the petitioner that the zoo is not a sanctuary because true sanctuaries never breed for profit. I agree with that argument because when you breed desirable tiger cubs and sell them you are perpetuating something that is inherently incorrect, which is treating the animal as a consumer item. You are also having a negative impact upon conservation and quietly promoting an incorrect attitude towards animals while promoting more private zoos – there should be less.
Apparently, one of the Tigers at DEW Animal Kingdom & Sanctuary gave birth to three cubs last summer, one of which was a white tiger cub. The cubs were taken from their mother the day they were born and allegedly handled by people and four weeks later they were placed in other homes out of the state of Maine. The petitioner verifies that this is true.
White tiger cubs are probably quite valuable but they are inherently inbred which can impact health. Health appears to be a low priority for exotic animal breeders.
She also verifies that the captive animals of this private zoo are kept in unacceptable conditions. We are told that there are numerous “baby exotic animals” indicating that there is an extensive breeding and selling program.
I have visited the Animal Planet website and they have a introductory video about Yankee Jungle. I presume this video reflects what we can expect to see when the program airs.
The bottom line of Kristina’s argument is that this sort of television supports private zoos of which there are already far too many in America. There is an “exotic animal problem” in America in that too many American citizens like to own exotic animals to the detriment of the animals generally although often they argue they are supporting conservation which is dishonest. They do the opposite.
It is time to do away with all zoos, especially private zoos and focus all that energy on real conservation which means finding ways to let our wild animals live freely in their own habitat and not in cages as prisoners, stressed up.