Thursday, March 26, 2009

Primates in zoos are not quite sane ...

Primates in zoos are mostly insane.

That's the lesson I take from Carnivorous gorillas | The Economist. It wasn't the point of the essay, but it's hard to escape the conclusion that they're not having much fun.

In a similar vein our local zoo has run through several psychotic Polar bears. They seem "ok" when they start out, but they show increasingly abnormal repetitive behaviors. They're going to get a much more impressive residence soon, so maybe the next batch will be merely neurotic.

Smart animals, shockingly, don't do well in confinement under continuous observations by history's most terrible large predator.

Let's not mention dolphins.


Zol said...

There was a polar bear at the Como Zoo in St Paul that exhibited that repetitive behavior.

It would swim back and forth and push of the glass in the tank the same way each time over and over.

JGF said...

Hi Zol!

Yeah, I remember him. Precisely the same motion, again and again.

He looked autistic.

I think the last set started to show the same behavior, which is about when they got shipped to better quarters.