Don’t you think an animal safari is any day better than a zoo? Instead of humans going around watching animals locked in cages (as in a zoo), why not allow the animals to roam freely and make humans travel in a secured car/van and watch animals in their natural environment (as in a safari)?
Recently we had an opportunity to go on The Grand Safari at Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore. Here is a slideshow video made with a few photos we took from our van –
In fact, a bear and a tiger were lying down right on the edge of our path and we were able to enjoy a close-up view of both which wouldn’t have been possible had they been locked inside a cage with multiple levels of separators. Both these animals, maybe since they were used to vehicles moving around, weren’t perturbed a bit. They did not even move an inch on our arrival – in fact, we had to steer our vehicle around them!
I think a free set-up like the one we saw in this national park tends to take away the fear animals have of humans and vice versa. It provides a more congenial environment for both, and who knows, perhaps it might inspire men to coexist relatively freely with wild animals in the future (nothing new to our ancestors).
It’s quite difficult to walk around an entire zoo and most zoos expect people to walk. Our zoos are already constructed in large green spaces, hence it may not a very difficult to convert our existing zoos into national parks with large open spaces for animals to roam around freely in their natural environment. We can always go and see animals while traveling inside secured vehicles.
Being an animal lover, I hope I live to see the day when our zoos are converted into national parks.