Day 62: Animals Don’t Belong in Cages

I’m somewhat cheating on this post.  I really didn’t take any photos on Friday since it was a travel day for us.  Instead, I’ll post from our second 1/2 of Thursday.  Just a simple photo from my D10 point and shoot.

One of the biggest attractions around the Arenal Volcano is the amount of hot springs in the area.  You really have quite the choice when deciding which to visit.  You have huge locations with many different spring pools and some locations with just a couple.  You can go to certain springs to party and listen to loud music as tour buses load in the people, or you can go to certain springs that are a little more private, relaxing, and romantic.

After much deliberation, we chose to go to The Springs Resort & Spa as we heard good things about their springs from people we met who were staying there.  They also have a big cat sanctuary which I thought I would enjoy, and I knew it would be the only way we would see these types of animals on our trip.

They do tours at certain times during the day where they shuttle people to the part of their property which houses the animals.  Now, I kinda knew what to expect, but I didn’t realize it would bother me as much as it did, especially considering that I have been to zoos many times in my life, which are essentially the same thing.

According to the hotel, a little while ago Costa Rica passed a law that you could not own large cats as pets.  These animals were being stolen as babies and sold and raised in people’s homes.  The law resulted in a bunch of these cats having nowhere to go and no places to take them, and not being able to be released back into the wild.  In response to this, The Springs created a “sanctuary” for these cats.  Now the idea of that sounds great.  However it was just incredibly depressing to see these beautifully majestic animals stuck living the rest of their lives in cages.  All because some horrible person decided to take them out of the wild as babies for money, and the ignorant people who purchased them as pets.  Now their lives consist of living in small areas, basically just laying around all day not being able to fulfill their basic needs as wild animals, forced to be gawked at by groups of people that are shuttled in by the hotel.

In addition, they also had monkeys on the property in cages, and after seeing how amazing they are in the wild, it angered me to see them behind bars.  As I watched everyone around me taking photos, I could only think of the photos that I had taken of them previously in our trip.  Being completely free.  Hanging out in a tree eating fruit.  The mommy spider monkey swinging from tree to tree with the baby on her back.  Those are the things worthy of taking photos of, not a poor frustrated monkey stuck in a cage.

I do think that ultimately the hotel is doing a good thing.  They are providing a place where these animals can live out their lives, since they can’t return to the wild.  However it breaks my heart to think of the life that they are forced to have now.  Animals don’t belong in cages.

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8 Comments to “Day 62: Animals Don’t Belong in Cages”

  1. I agree with you. Sanctuaries that save injured or displaced animals are necessary, but I wish they could somehow teach them to survive in their natural surroundings, maybe in another area with a similar ecosystem. I am grateful, though, for the sanctuaries that work so hard to give homes to animals whose injuries are too extensive to be set free. I don’t like zoos that bring healthy animals out of the wild so people can gawk at them, and I completely disapprove of and will not patronize circuses of any kind. And that’s my soap box du jour. ;)

  2. And yet, zoos are necessary in the preservation of endangered species, through their breeding and exchange programs. Without zoos there would be no Siberian tigers, no White Rhinos, or many other species. But I agree that taking animals from the wild and trying to make pets of them is an abhorrent practice. There is no wild cat that can be “tamed”, and although parrots and fish make fine pets, there is no need to take them from the wild, as they are bred in captivity easily, and don’t put the wild populations at risk. Indeed, these pet stocks may even be a secondary gene pool, should anything happen to stocks in the wild.
    Oh, and Kristen, you may want to amend your statement to “WILD animals don’t belong in cages.” My Kiba sleeps quite happily in his cage (crate) every day! LOL!
    Great pics, as always.
    Phyrie

    • I agree with you Phyrie. Zoos are definitely necessary for certain reasons, especially the ones you mentioned as well as research.

      and yes, I pretty much assumed it went without saying that I was talking of wild animals ;) My foster dogs are quite happy in their cage (most of them) as well, but they also don’t live 24/7 in them as well.

  3. The cat in your photo is absolutely beautiful! I can relate to your conflict though- knowing that if it wasn’t for the sanctuary they probably wouldn’t be alive, but also hating the way they now have to live. It’s a hard one, as what life do they have? Hopefully due to the law being passed, it’ll be less and less common for people to steal them as babies so eventually the need for the sanctuary will die out.

    lets hope so anyway! x

  4. Here in UK a leading newspaper is trying to get our government to ban wild animals travelling in circuses, He [Dave Cameron] had previously said he would but has reneged on his word, it is just so cruel, they’re better off dead.
    BTW it would be nice if you gave a reply to comments, just so we know it’s been read, you don’t necessarily have to agree with it. Than you

    • I definitely read all of my comments and I used to try to comment on them all all the time. It caught up with me though and while I still try, there are some times when I am too busy to do so. Especially lately when I’ve been busy catching up with a weeks worth of entries and before vacation when I was really feeling the stress of blogging. It’s something I promise to start doing again. I have just been busy lately.

      Although, reply or no reply, please know that I read every single comment.

      I completely agree with you about circuses.

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