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Just What Is The Point Mr Antle?
There has never been a greater need than now for cooperation between zoos around the world. Not only with conservation breeding programmes and exchange of information and knowledge but in weeding out those who are working on the principles of 'ignorance is bliss' and 'let me see how much I can get away with'. Not only are animals suffering but the wrong educational messages are being promoted. The biggest problem here is that the press so often fail to check their facts and ordinary lies become compound lies.
It is not just in Asia with places like Phuket Zoo and the Million Years Stone Park but in the West as well. It is almost beyond belief that Myrtle Beach Safari Park should or could have contributed anything at all towards conservation legislation. Whether it was good, bad or indifferent is neither here nor there because there is ample proof that this should never have happened.
I have questions for Mr Kevin Antle
Your 'Rare Species Fund' website states:
"T.I.G.E.R.S. donated and personally transported seven Tigers from our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Preserve to the Samutprakarn Wildlife Preserve, south of Bangkok. This unique group contained the four remaining color variations of the tiger making it the first of its kind in Asia. These magnificent animal ambassadors are working to create public awareness of the plight of the several thousand remaining tigers in South East Asia. A healthy and thriving litter of cubs just heralded the first success of this groundbreaking programme."
'Personal transportation' indicates that you must have visited this place. This being the case you will be aware that only you are calling it a 'Preserve'. Nobody else is. The 'Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo' (read my report) is just that. It is probably the worlds biggest crocodile farm, with a zoo attached and not an especially good one. You cannot have missed the 40 or so displays housing freak crocodiles, of the pigs, dogs and tigers mixed together.
What was the point in donating 'color variations' of tigers? How does that help conservation? What subspecies of tigers were they? How many close family pairings took place to achieve the 'color variations'? How are these animals going to contribute to any conservation breeding project? They aren't and you know it...or you should know it.
It is not as if Thailand has a lack of tigers. They are all over the place. Places like the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo probably breed more tigers than any collection outside of China. No recent indication as to where the young are going. The Tiger Temple is another place...and there are others. Your 'donation' of Tigers has contributed to a problem, especially as they have bred, and not reduced it.
As to "several thousand remaining tigers in South East Asia" this is truly reassuring news of which I hope you will be informing the relevant scientic bodies.
I can truly see a role for 'Animal Ambassadors' but these are not.
They Are Not Meant To Look Like This
I would dearly like to know how 'Snow Tigers', Ligers, White Tigers, White Lions, hand rearing of Orangutans and Chimpanzees has anything to do with conservation? I would like to know what contribution swimming with or bubble bathing Orangutans does? Just what is the point of the Worlds Biggest Cat? Taking Orangutans underwater with baby Tapirs is for what? For why?
I donate money to wildlife charities and other good causes. Not as often as I would like and when I do, I do it anonymously. I only mention this here because I too could very easily claim that I too was supporting Cheetah Conservation, Protection of Orangutan and Tiger Habitat and more. Your 'Rare Species Fund' claims to be supporting projects here there and everywhere. To be frank your claim that you "actively supports the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZAB) in it's efforts to improve African zoo collection management, captive animal husbandry, and public educational messages." I find this quite worrying especially as you are giving out the wrong messages.
I have long been impressed with your publicity machine and would dearly like to see you and your outfit change, to ditch the circus show and start to make a genuine contribution to conservation. Presently you are causing harm.