This map shows where you can see cats in public zoos across the USA. All you have to do is click on the place markers to see details about the wild cat species at these zoos together with some details about the zoo. The yellow place markers pinpoint the best zoos for seeing wild cat species.
You can zoom in on the place markers by using the controls on the map. The map can be dragged in the usual way (left-click and hold). Obviously things change over time so it may pay to check with the zoo before turning up if you wish to see a specific species of wild cat.
There are many articles on PoC about zoos and wild cats. If you click on the links below you’ll be taken to some of them:
- Additional information regarding the map on this page.
- Custom search on PoC for ‘zoo’.
- Captive wild cats
Although I strongly dislike zoos because as far as I am concerned they are beacons of conservation failure, I realise that many people enjoy them, particularly children which is why I produced the map. The map took a long time to create, in fact. It is my understanding that, in general, captive wild cats don’t do well in zoos. They don’t breed well which causes problems of population numbers at zoos. To import genuine wild cat species into zoos from the wild would be counterproductive in terms of conservation so you can see the ethical and practical problems.
Every so often we read about private zoo visitors and keeps and also public zoo keepers being killed by tigers. It seems that if a zoo keeper is to be killed by a wild cat it will be a tiger. Recently a youngish woman described as a “tiger whisperer” was fatally bitten by a Malayan male tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo. She was working inside the enclosure. Something went wrong. Perhaps she became too confident because she was a very skilled tiger zoo keeper. The tiger had to be tranquillised before other keepers could retrieve her. She died not long afterwards. She was preparing the tigers for a talk that she routinely gave for the public.
There are many private zoos in America. Many keep large wild cats. Some are kept well while others are neglected at the expense of the cat. Sometimes organisations such as Big Cat Rescue rescue neglected cats from private zoos. There is a problem with private zoos which is caused by a lack of government regulation. The motivation for owning a private zoo is often misplaced and due to bad thinking.
Most often there are little or no conservation benefits emanating from any type of zoo, public or private. They primarily exist for the benefit of humans not animals.
The tags which lead you to more articles are at the base of the page.
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