Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Self Reflection of My Blog and the Class

This project has taught me a great deal about a species I worked so closely with over this past summer through my internship with a zoo. I have gotten to investigate not only how people view these species in captivity, but how they are viewed through art, literature, and entertainment.  Society can have a major impact on the way the public views the giraffe species. For example, many have come to know the giraffe as an awkward and skittish species through Dreamworks’ production of Madagascar. My overall thoughts on trophy hunting specifically has changed. I had always thought of the process as a purely negative thing, but that thought and perception changed when I learned how it can not only benefit the local economy and people, but also help conserve the species.

I have also learned a great deal about human animal interactions through this course. I have learned just how big of an impact the human animal bond can have on both parties. Along with this, I have learned of the many different ways a species can be perceived based upon how it is used. For example, a pet mouse is perceived and used in a much different aspect than a research mouse would be. One topic that this class has changed my perspective on is the use of animals in zoos. I was always a supporter of them, even after working for one over the summer. After the topic of animals in zoos was discussed though, I began to see things in a different light. I began to rethink my summer intern and the behavior of the animals. The lions and big cats definitely did not have enough space or enrichment which was apparent with their constant pacing back and forth alongside their fencing of their enclosure. I’ve always thought that the longer lifespan of an animal in a zoo along with the fact that they have spent their whole life in captivity, that they obviously had to reason to be suffering. This opinion has changed though. Although I still love attending zoos and admiring their animals, I will have an aching in my heart for them. I know the staff truly cares for them, but the limited amount of space, interaction, and enrichment they are given is stressful to the animal.