Thursday, October 13, 2011

Radio Lab--Zoos. Notes and Thoughts

I finally got a chance to listen to it. It was great!

Notes:
Gorillas smearing feces on walls of cages in zoo. Obviously expressing depression. It was a concrete cage.
When better cages were proposed "experts" said the gorillas were going to fall from trees and get sick from a more natural environment. Ok. This just sounds dumb. Really? Give the gorillas some credit, please...
When the cage was changed the most aggressive gorilla found a left over piece of concrete. Held it up, seemed like he was going to smash it against glass, but then didn't. Behavior was better ever since cage change.
Studies of brain growth in correlation with ease of feeding (having to work for food rather than being handed it) and type of cage (amount of toys and how much it resembles their wild setting). Animals who had better cages and had to work for food had significantly better brain development.
Man who talks only to animals as child grows up and helps save Jaguars. His story was great.

Thoughts:
Gorillas--Why on earth would someone think a more accurate-to-their-habitat cage would be a bad idea??? Could this be purposeful stupidity based on financial and logistic reasons? Why are some zoos administrators so opposed to even trying this? Do they not care about the animals and only business?

Jaguar Man--I wish they had provided more info on his conversations with animals as a kid. What did they say back to him?

Brain growth. What is the best situations for our pets? What is the best situation for us that helps our brains develop in the best possible way? What are things that are a hindrance to it for people?

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