Thursday, 20 August 2015

So um... well.

Hi guys, I honestly feel a bit of a tool. Sure I've left this blog to gather dust, it started with the best intentions, but in the months that passed other blogs started to crop up just like this one and it suddenly felt that maybe the world didn't need the ZOO OUTSIDER as much as I had imagined. It lost priority in the grand scheme of things, but was perhaps the noblest thing I could have done at the time. I have also felt a great deal of despondence in the past year at the zoo industry as the problems which looked to be rectifying themself suddenly took a turn and seemed to overwhelm to zoo world. The longleat Lions surplus scandal, Marius the Giraffe, the dreaded Blackfish and more recently the Cecil the lion media parade. It felt like the fire might have died.

In the words of George Harrison...

"Try to realise it's all within yourself no-one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you"

Sounds obscure right? I suddenly started to feel very small and insignificant for some time and that's where I was wrong, so maybe it's time for an update on the world of the ZOO OUTSIDER.

The first thing that made me realise that reasonable observation can influence others and make a change in an almost immutable industry was that on re-visiting a collection I had blogged on before, one year ago -

Without trying to single out any individual collection, I used my visit there to highlight the obscure double standards seen in zoo collections when it comes to products sold in outlets. Much to my absolute delight, on visiting the same gift shop featured in the first item, now every single reference to white lions and tigers is gone, not a one to be found, no cuddly toys, plastic figures or t shirts. I can only hope then, that my post reached the right eyes and minds to make a change, furthermore there may be collections that have also followed this idea that I am not yet aware of.

Seeing this I logged back into my dusty old account to find that there were still hundreds of people visiting the blog pages to read the posts and although I have little feedback, the world is still interested in the blog.

In this time of the everyman animal rights activist, who is a self proclaimed expert on animal welfare and celebrities using any chance they can to gain traffic on their social media channels, maybe there is still room in the world for the ZOO OUTSIDER.

I might create some new material for the page, but as ever, I won't be posting for posting's sake, if there's something to be said or looked at, I will certainly thrash it out here.

Sorry again for the year long void, we all have to learn, grow and change. I guess I needed that time.

I'm always happy to answer any comments or questions people might have, please do get involved.

Lets look forward to some interesting new posts, any ideas please ping them my way, as long as there are people wanting to listen, I will continue to speak.




  1. hi zoo outsider,

    I love your blog. I agree with what you're saying, "fight the power!"

    For so long, i have searched for someone else who also thought that animals don't belong in the wild. I mean, why would an animal like living in the wild when they can live indoors? It just doesn't make sense. But you do, zoo outsider.

    If the provocative images and arguments you post don't convince people of the truth, I just don't know what will.

    I truly hope you continue to post someday. I know i'll be checking.

    Wishing you the best zoo outsider,
    A Devoted Fan

    1. Hi "anonymous"

      Certainly glad you are enjoying the blog.

      You may have misinterpreted my view on animals in the wild. I like so many others feel that animals belong in the wild, within structured healthy ecosystems, it's what they evolved for (although I'm sure the option of a heated shelter would still be welcome!). But the sad reality is that the wild as it exists today is not a safe environment for many endangered species. I believe that a more co-operative two pronged approach to conservation is needed, using captive species stocks to preserve the genetic heritage of the species and money raised from conservation initiatives (and zoos too!) to stabilise the remaining habitats so that one day these animals and plants may live safely, however slim a chance this might be. Many zoos are already contributing hugely to this idea, but there are many that are not, yet would continue to insist they are aiding conservation. likewise some collections can overlook the welfare of an individual animal, even with complex ethics commitees in place.

      My posts regarding the nature of the wild are designed to highlight (toungue in cheek) the ways in which anti zoo lobbies present an inacurate and overtly emotive picture of life in captivity for many animals, focusing with a bias and ignoring some of the many benefits that an animal living in captivity receives. Granted there are species which have major issues in captivity, which will no doubt be resolved in time as has been done with many species before if active research continues, indeed large volumes of what we know about these species was learned within zoos over the last 100+ years. The alternative for many of these individuals (which have a good quality of life) is euthanasia or release into a situation where a slow death with maybe even more suffering awaits them, rhinos are a perfect example right now, the great "wilds" of Southern Africa are nowhere near as intact as many are led to think. Every instance needs to be looked at on a case by case basis. Of course there are some species which could probably begin their re-integration into the wild, but yet they remain captive. I don't have all the answers, but as things are, the future looks pretty bleak with everyone fighting over ethics, whilst criminals work day and night to destroy everyone's mutual love...

      Anyway, I hope you continue to enjoy the zoo outsider, thankyou for your message, stay safe, keep looking out for those who can't speak for themselves, but never put words in their mouths. Peace.