Sunday, October 3, 2021

Is there any risks when Zoos have public Facebook pages?

Lately, I have noticed that Zoos Facebook Pages slowly more and more are taking over Zoos educational role. While Zoos in the past would be fairly restricted to which information they passed on to public, the Zoos Facebook pages is on its way of becoming a separate world, often with women in charge, and where different feministic attitudes are dominating almost every story, advocating feminism, without officially declaring this.

Zoos were in the past regarded as scientific institutions, and supposed to deliver unbiased information, with a scientific approach. This is slowly changing when the zoos adapt to the main stream, and create their Facebook pages. It seems often with a female editor, and probably with a journalist background, rather than being a zookeeper or biologist. 

Meanwhile, zookeepers are not so often men anymore, as they were in the past, when they were silent cleaners of cages and feeders of animals,  Today, we see the new zookeeper taking parts of films, where they speak, almost professionally, about their animals. And it seems some 95% of them are women. 

They tell stories for other women, and become role models, and getting famous. You dont see them carry faeces, bales of hay, or tons of fish from a lorry into a freezer any longer. They have become movie stars. And the animals they care for, has become more and more antropomorfistic.

Wikipedia describes Anthropomorphism as: 

The attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology.

Personification is the related attribution of human form and characteristics to abstract concepts such as nations, emotions, and natural forces, such as seasons and weather.  

Both have ancient roots as storytelling and artistic devices, and most cultures have traditional fables with anthropomorphized animals as characters. People have also routinely attributed human emotions and behavioral traits to wild as well as domesticated animals

The latest example is about the elephant Mala in Parc Paradisio. Mala is a female Asian elephant,  57 years old, living in Parc Paradisio in Belgium. Mala was born 1964, probably in India, because she was imported in 1966 to Europe by animal trader George Munro, who bought his elephants India, mostly on the Sonepur Cattle Fair, or in Assam, and shipped them to Europe out from the Port of Calcutta.

Munro sold the elephant to Carl Hagenbecks Tierpark in Stellingen outside Hamburg in Germany, and somewhere along the road she got the name "Mala" which is Singhalese  for "flower", but as far as I know, she has zero connection to Sri Lanka, called Ceylon in 1966.

In March/April 1984 she became one of the last victims of the disease Elephant Smallpox,  but luckily survived, under veterinarian supervision of Hagenbecks co-owner and director Claus Hagenbeck from the sixth generation of the private owners of the zoo, established in 1907.

Mala lived most of her life in Hamburg, and I met Mala already in 1985 during my practise in Hagenbecks Tierpark. Mala was very stabile, an excellent elephant in regard of training, and she was one of the best during the afternoons, when some 5-6 elephants were brought out from enclosure to the ramps, where children could ride on Mala in saddles.

Mala was sold in July 2012 to Parc Paradisio in Belgium , where she has spent her last nine years under the nickname Brugelette.

Mala was succesfully integrated in Paradisio, and it seems that she took the leading position in the herd 

Yesterday was reported on Facebook article about Mala in Zoo Pairi Daiza (Parc Paradisio) that Mala has colic, and hundreds of comments on the zoos Facebook has put the attention to Mala. People upload pictures with candles, pray for her recover etc, as if she was a human relative or a person they had a close social connection to.

No shadow over the Parc Paradisio Zoo, its an excellent Zoo and just an example I choose to take when analyzing when a Zoos information becomes public on Facebook, and anyone can make comments.

What struck me was that theres less focus on Elephant colic medical remedies, pathology and more individual focus on Mala as a symbol of something, which is difficult to describe.

The comments made by the public, with added graphics, like ballons, candles, etc, show a somewhat juvenile pattern, and poor Malas situation, becomes an emotional tragedy where the Facebook visitors express their love and care for Mala, although most of them never met her. And most peoples reference nowadays are from cats and dogs kept in human homes, actually cared for and treated as babies, and viewed as semi-members of the human family by their owners.  
For some reason the public often apply the same view on animals in zoo or at farm, as if they were personals in a human social environment. 

This gone so far, that a a team of lawyers requested a writ of habeas corpus – a claim of unlawful detention on the elephant Happys behalf in an effort to have her rehomed. But on December 17 2020, an appeals court in New York denied the claim. Their reasoning was simple – Happy cannot claim legally enforceable rights under existing law. This is because Happy is an elephant.

Of course its sad if Mala has colic. But colic is seldom lethal for elephants. Therefore the Facebook article about her colic made me focus more on peoples reactions, and after seeing all "get well soon" and "Mala we love you" graphics, as well as funeral candles, I became a bit puzzled. And I dont think anyone who express their love and care for Mala, ever met her.  A fast analyze gives an indication that 95% of comments were written by women.

Somehow, I get the feeling that her condition becomes commercialized, and that persons profit on her destiny in a way, where they express emotions and send her their greetings.

But Mala will never see or read those greetings, or watch all ballons and candles. Shes got pain in her stomach, thats all she knows. And she dont know all those people that "love" her, and pray for her. She probably wouldn't care less, if she saw pictures of balloons and candles.

The entire Facebook article about Mala reflects very much how Zoos informational role is rapidly undergoing changes, and where the Zoos educational websites becomes a secondary thing, which few people read, while their Facebook section takes over. In a very different way. Theres indications that Zoos Facebook pages can become a pseudo-world, where the public may take over, and the Zoos may loose control over how their information is received, spread and politically transformed, and where their animals become "victims" of over-emotional reactions, Anthropomorphism and subjects of ignorance, rather as parts of a zoos biology education program. I cant stop thinking that its a high risk of those Zoo Facebook Pages gets changed into what is nwdays referred to as "emotional porn"

Mala is not alone, for every week and month during the last year, Zoos Facebook sections are starting to move in a new direction, which is new to me, where the journalistic approach replace science and unbiased biology information. "Likes" seem to be the factor that rule how and what the Zoo should write on Facebook.

I see this as a part of development that started in the 60s, and became more formalized in the 70s, it has a history, it started to become more extreme with the film Solo, by Baron Hugo van Lawick and his then pretty young wife, Jane Godal. Hugo van Lawicks film about Solo called "Wild Dogs Tale - The story of a lonely African wild dog. (Or, the story of Solo, a lonely African wild dog that has befriended a number of jackals and hyenas in the Okavango Delta. Solo has helped the jackals raise their pups as if they were her own...)

Until then most nature films were more like documentations, with the exemption of Disney productions, where Disney nature films would create "stories" where some animals were challenged with problems, where the viewers became sad and cried and the public were supposed to identify with them and the story. Most Disney nature films had a happy ending, and in the end the poor animals always survived so the viewers could feel happy again. 

Many Europeans in the 60s and 70s liked American films, but it was also also laughed at the weeping point when some would make coffee, and indulge in discussions about the film,until the "weeping" section was over. In fact, some in Europe actually felt embarrrassed, and  although absorbed by a film until this point, then being brought to reality when the emotion-porn took its crescendo, often half ways or 2/3:rds in the film. It became to much, for most of them, if they were not teeaager girls. The weeping sections could be referred to as "creamy" or "butter" and pathetic and made elderly men shake their heads while half the family was crying. But even more interestingly, women back in 50s and 60s, who often had grown up on farms, and experienced war, were more living in reality while they would even criticize the teenager women of being childish and melodramatic.

This was back in the time when many Europeans regarded a lot of American films as over-emotional, and we never understood how people could enjoy watching suffering, weeping people om film, or suffering animals wit their heads hanging down. It was a bit of the painting of the weeping child,  or "The crying Boy" by Spanish artist Giovanni Bragolin. that some people decorated the wall  in their living rooms with. Those different pictures is the subject of the article The Curse of the Crying Boy

It all began in the 1950s. A Spanish artist named Giovanni Bragolini made a series of paintings that depicted a young child crying. He sold those paintings to tourists as a reminder of the orphans of World War II. Oddly enough, people in England, especially young couples, grew fond of these paintings. Mass prints of the paintings were sold across the country.

Anyhow,  except for some Disney Nature  films  most nature films I saw until middle 70s were kind of educational, transfer the beauty and  reality of Nature.

The film about Solo would change this, although the film became criticized by biologists and zoologists. It was the obvious that a hunt on a sebra detailed VERY close, was performed by a chemical sedation, probably with Xylazine (commonly known as Rompune) of a sebra, so the hunt could be filmed very close, and the sebra could not escape, since it was obviously drugged. 

In the film, the camera man seem to sit on a Landrover, which follows the hunt only on meters distance, while the sebra with a light sedation, is fleeing from a pride of hunting lions, but the sebra just runs stupidly straight forward, and doesnt perform a natural fleeing behaviour, why Baron van Lawick could film the kill by the lions, which of course made a strong emotional impact on the viewer, 

MAYBE some semi-tame lions that would accept a running Landrover meters from their hunt were actually used in the film, since its hard to believe that a totally wild pride of Lions would perform a hunt, with a running LR in high speed some meters away, with a filming photographer...

Shortly after, the couple divorced, and Jane Godall became world famous as primate researcher. In her late life, she has become an animal rights activists, She is the former president of Advocates for Animals, and was involved in the termination of elephant keeping in Toronto Zoo, when she, regarded as "elephant specialist" reccommended sending their elephants to the Tuberculosis infected Elephant Sanctuary known as PAWS ARK 2000 in California 

This was of course not the best option, from a professional point of view, sending healthy elephants to a place where it was highly possible they they would be infected with a lethal infection disease.

But Animal Activists wrote:

Some of the most renowned and respected scientists — Cynthia Moss, Joyce Poole, Winnie Kiiru, Keith Lindsay and Dr. Jane Goodall — have recommended the PAWS ARK 2000 sanctuary to Toronto Zoo as a retirement home for the three African elephants, Thika, Toka and Iringa. Why does AZA consider their years of experience as unimportant, and continue to threaten Toronto Zoo with the horrors of lack of accreditation?

I described the Sanctuarys TB situation in my 2012 blog Tuberculosis in two U.S. elephant sanctuaries, after which PAWS threatened to sue me, see PAWS threatens to sue me? Heres the laywers letter.

Back to Solo:

 Solos story was probably a totally fictional story, when poor little Solo gets cast out by his pack, and even his mother doesnt care for him, and he almost died. The story was probably not true, but its rather likely the production of very much analyzed by the authors, what women and children would like.So, the starving Solo, whos mother rejecting him, became an animal "crying Boy" as the synopsis for the film.

In those days, such a way of manipulating animals for film making with chemical sedation, was a big NoNo, which was one of the reasons why the film was criticized. A second issue was that it didnt tell a true story, but was a created and fabricated story made to attract emotional people who didnt ask too many questions.

I remember when my teacher on Zookeepers school Mr Helmut Pinter, would criticize the sedation of an animal for a film production, and the young girls in the class would aggressively attack his arguments, and defend poor little Solo, and if I during later discussions claimed that Solo was probably 5-9 different African Wild Dog puppies filmed on different places, and all of them well cared by their mothers, the girls would get totally frustrated aggressive and tell me how stupid I was.

Back n 1974-1976 when I saw the film, we were two boys and sixteen girls in the zookeepers class. and when I came in discussions with my teenage female classmates about the film, was the first time, wen I became attacked for being "primitive", emotionally disturbed, perverted, extreme, stupid etc, and the young women would try to expel me from the social group, as "punishment" for my "bad behaviour".  And I would be criticized for not "loving animals". 

But at least they didnt threat to sue me, like  Pat Derby, owner of PAWS would later do, when the truth I wrote in Pat Derby (1942-2013) cofounder of Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) disturbed her.

I would later see this even more extreme when the ARAS became more and more dominant in the 90s, and they share the general things, they are over emotional, anti reality, and believe that in every sitiuation that there is a "right" and "wrong" and the people who think "right" belong to a cultural elite. 

It seems today, rather many western women, too many, has become pretty infantile, naive, and over emotional AND they are dominating the social climate on many media sites with this, and the more distance they have to nature and animals, the more extreme they get. This development had a break through in late 70s and  early nineties, when whales, dolphins, and elephants during the "new-age" era became more popuar and filled with   Anthropomorphism and in the book "Elephant Memories" the author Cynthia Moss would label elephants as living in matriarchy. Soon  dolphins were also considered matriarchal, and super intelligent.

Many, especially women, would during the "New Age" identify with the New Age Animals. Tattos with dolphins, and investing money in "swimming with dolphins" trips, and when they returned home, telling most exciting stories, for their female friends, how they experienced bonding with the dolphins, or when they during the three minutes they put their hand on an elephants head think they became a friend of this elephant. 

Also, all bullshit of course, and if you told the women how male dolphins would rape female dolphins, OR younger males, they would go mad with hate. Or that "their friend" the elephant would probably try to kill them, if they would go close, without its Mahout nearby. I earlier described my point of view regarding all this in an earlier blog: Can elephants suffer in elephant sanctuaries, as an effect of volonteers exploit and opinions? 

But in this world its legal to create your own reality, if you dont appreciate the real one, and you can share this "pseudo-reality" with your friends, and create consensus that "its all true" why a "consenus" is more and more often regarded as an evidence. Regardless if a scientific publications speaks othervise. And since they belong to a culture Elite, they are entitled to downgrade other human beings.

So, since the 90s farmers, hunters, Circus people are "bad people" :

  • Hunters performing legal hunts are hated. Even if they contribute to species conservation
  • Educated Wildlife officers especially if performing culling of animals, are hated.
  • Circus, and Circus people are hated
  • Because as "everyone" knows, hey dont "love" animals, regardless if they spent all their life with them, fed them, washed them, helped them when they were sick, etc.

But even if you never even met an elephant physically, you can today become an elephant expert just by reading Internet Forums. And there you get confirmation, that you belong to the culture Elite, who understands what elephants "love" and you can become an "elephant lover", who understands elephants much better than those who lived with them for generations.

We can see how this has more and more taken over on  Facebook now, and if Mala will die she will not really die, she will "walk over the rainbow", "rejoin her family in the other world", etc. and All bullshit, and illogical concepts in a feministic dominated environment, because a dead elephant is a dead elephant. A dead elephant doesnt walk over rainbows and it doesnt have any social life at all, The remains may get stored in a scientific institution, and get an Accession Catalog number., and most parts of the body will go to destruction. No rainbow. Just a dead elephant.

When I started to work in the Stockholm Zoo in 1977, there were only one woman zookeeper employed, the rest, about twenty zookeepers were all men. Today, in the same Zoo, theres one man working as zookeeper, all the others are women. 

And I get the feeling that, most employees in charge of the information section in Zoos, and the zoos new Social Media and "Facebook-section" are women, and after all the sweet cat pictures on Facebook, by this, nature and animals, has become extremely commercial, but not the real nature and real animals, only the fictional many animal related Facebook sections became partly taken over, and controlled by women. On Facebook in general, they often dictate right and wrong. political correctness etc. Wrong ideas and opinions are being punished, and the Facebook account closed for a week or so, so the person understands which rules are applied. Irs like in the old DDR, where people with wrong ideas were sent to "training camps", and returned brainwashed. When a pseudo reality is created, everyone must believe in this reality, and it is "forbidden" to question the pseudo-reality.

The same is applied to pseudoscience, and contrary to real science, its also "forbidden" to be questioned. A consensus made b a few is enough as "evidence". This fascinating new concept of describing the world, may eventually find its way into scientific publications, and general Information Flow. futurewise.

Regardless if everything is totally wrong, and can easily be debunked as fraud, it doesnt matter, if enough women writing on their favourite Network have agreed on their alternative truth and reality.

The African wild dog "Solo" who probably never existed in reality, has become "a new truth" together with all the other "beloved" animals with exception fur ugly and creepy things like ticks, mosquitos, bugs and other ugly creeps that doesnt look like a baby with large ears and large eyes, looking sad. 

Or male sex of different species, like elephants. All wild elephants only have mothers, their fathers seldom described. And all wild elephants live in herds "led by a female" because the existence of the 50% of the species, the males, are neglected, or minimized to "sons" of the mother elephant in books, articles and essays about elephants, written by women, for women. Lately, "news" about that the Y-chromosome is dying and will disappear, is spread on internet as "science" and it seems that many people  actually really believe this. If a reader favors an opinion, they want ask if its really true. 

So most New Age animals are "Solo". and all of them are of course victims of the worst and most hated organism on earth: --White, adult Men. Because white adult men have wrong opinions and ideas, and they treat animals bad, they dont "love" them like women does. White adult men are only destroying the environment, they pollute the air, and created anthroposophic climate change. As animal trainers they use whips and dominance, instead of whistle pipes and targets. 

Lately also Asian Mahouts has become "bad people". In a semi post-missionairy and post-colonizing way, Mahouts basically suffer from one major error: they dont "love" animals. They probably hate them, and they abuse them and hit them, and doent let them drink water or feed properly. 

Therefore: Asian Mahouts, should be equally be hated as hunters, farmers, circus people, and old white Men, belonging to a lost generation, who isnt political correct and brainswshed by feminism.

Therefore, elephant camps, especially where tourist riding is aloud, are hated. It doesnt matter that they contribute to species conservation, they are "wrong" anyway, regrdless if Thailand in 2014, during the last six years , had a birth rate (62.67±10.69) which was higher than the dead rate (23.83±8.01) (p<0.0001). (Weerasak Pintawongs), all due to ridings with elephants, financing the Kui people breeding them so succesfully, so captive elephants in Thailand became sustainable.

-While sanctuaries are "right". but only 80% right if managed by a woman, and only 100% correct if managed by a white woman, because many Asian women, are also referred to as "bad" if they are elephant owners,  unless their name is Lek Chailert, or if Lek Chailert support them. Lek Chailert also threatened to sue me and she claims that the Kui peoples elephant breeding is based on "rapes" and therefore "unethical".  30 years ago most people would had shared the joy and happiness of a new born elephant, today, it is regarded questionable if it was bred in an "ethical" way, or not.

This may all sound somewhat extreme reflections I share with you, but they are the result of spending huge amounts of time on Internet, studying how Feminism and Animal Rights Movement take over the Public view of animals, shaping a new brainwashed generation, judging all generations before them as stupid and unmodern. Today a zookeeper who worked 2,5 years as assistant in one Zoo, sharing the correct ideas and being favored by a headkeeper, is regarded as a better Zookeeper than a person who worked 40 years in 10 Zoos under various conditions.

The World has gone insane. But, its OK and legal to be insane.

But under those circumstances, one would expect Zoos would choose to make neutral informational a priority, and focus on issues of science, but NO, on Social Media, more and more Zoos hang on and follow the "main-stream", as long as they get many "likes" on their FB page.

Some 5-10 years ago, a Zoo would be careful to tell the public, if an elephant baby had Herpes virus.

The staff was informed not to tell public, Today, elephants with Herpes has become "Solo" on Facebook and the Zoos Media Sector profit on the suffering animal, creating emotional stories, and where zookeepers of course weep a lot, and suffer with the animals. So everyone can suffer together and enjoy the Emotional Porn.

But may there be a risk with all this? Is every media attention positive for a Zoo, even if it gets uncontrolled, and filled with emotional comments from the Public? I think its a relevant question.

If Zoos dont take precautions, they may end up having to take orders from all those misinformed, emotional women, and then we can forget about science, and that Zoos deliver scientific information.

Regarding Mala, yes its sad. 

Especially since colic is a very uncomfortable condition, and painful. But mostly elephant who suffer from colic get painkillers, and become supervised 24/7 by caring keepers and veterinarians. 

Still of course, an old elephant with colic, may die. No elephant lives forever. 

But no balloons, candle lights, or love poems can help Mala, who during the years were taken good care of by caring and competent care takers in the Zoos where she lived. 

And she had a pretty long life;

Especially compared to the over 9 000 elephants that died of starvation in Tsavo National park during only two years drought in 1971-1972

And in Amboseli National Park in Kenya, according to Cynthia Moss:
  • The rains failed in 1976 and as a result there was a terrible drought in Amboseli. Many elephants died that year particularly young ones [...] Of the 29 calves that were born to the whole population in 1976, 14 died before they were a year old. [...] More than half the calves born that year died.[...] Only two calves had been born to the Amboseli population between January 1977 and November 1978. During the drought the females had stopped reproductive cycling altogether. 
  • In 1984 there was another serious drought and again many elephants died: 11 adult females, 13 adult males, three juveniles, 13 weanlings, five second-year calves, and 22 first-year calves.
  • 2009 everything changed dramatically for Amboseli including for the elephants, other wildlife, people and livestock. The area and much of Kenya experienced the worst drought in living memory. [...] Nearly 400 elephants died during 2009 including 250 calves. [...] 83% of the wildebeests, 71% of the zebras, 61% of the buffaloes, and 25% of Amboseli’s elephants died.
It has to be remembered, that information has sometimes a tendency to be biased, and although presented as scientific material, it may not give a neutral point of view. And it may be taken out of context, and not logically analyzed.

But it is the Zoos responsibility to handle information as correct and precise as possible, and although Social Media  has become an important marketing factor, there is a risk that it may become a tool for biased opinions and politics,  while the Zoos website gets less attention. 

It is important that those two information platforms are integrated with each other, and a result of the Zoos Information policy. Every tendency that a Zoos Facebook page or likewise starts to get a "life on its own" or gets highjacked by Animal Rights Activists or simply naive "dreamers" who claim that animals dont die but walk over rainbows, has to be reduced to a minimum.

The scientific value has to be safely monitored. Any kind of Anthropomorphism should be removed from Zoos Social Media since its the first step towards the more extreme development described above.

As Zoopersons we must respect and tolerate different views the Public may share, although some may be totally wicked. But we shall not let them take control over our information system and concepts.

Because soon may also Zookeepers become as hated as farners, hunters and circus people. 

Even if they are women... because in the new beatiful world created by the "make-a-change-generation" there is no mercy. All sinners will be dragged to the shame pole where they will become judged and punished by the Culture Elite, who think they are the only one who know what "love" means..



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