No, this is not about Madagascar the movie… 🙂
Last weekend I was in Hong-Kong and had a chance to visit Ocean Park. There are many seafood… err, I mean sea creatures in that place. They are all inside the aquariums and some of the nice beautiful fish are put in solitary aquariums. This is to keep their natural ‘jewels’ & ‘crowns’ intact and the aquarium protected them from being eaten by the other fish.
Instead of its name, Ocean Park has one species that isn’t come from the ocean, and they have been made resident to this Hong-Kong recreational place. Yes, it’s the couple giant panda Jia-Jia and An-An. They have been there since 1999 when HK returns to China, and the symbolic gesture from China was giving these two giant creatures to HK.
I’m not a pro-animal liberation or anything (though the title soulds like it), but one visit to the panda cage has started me to wonder.
Imagine you are An-An (the male panda), and these are my version of the situation that you will experience:
You are almost extinct and you’re put in a big cage simulating your ‘natural habitat’. Food are provided, the weather are controlled systematically and you are being put in solitary mode so you can ‘be protected’. Your only soul-mate (Jia-Jia) is as old as your mother and you can’t see her simply because these so-called humans thought you are a ‘solitary’ animal that better to be kept alone. Yet, there are bunch of these so-called humans of all sized and ages who come in and out of your cage and they are as loud as a new year celebration during Y2K… Talking about being solitary? Not even close! You try to sleep, but no can do, sir… these so-called human sounds like the buzzing of busy bees all day long, how can you sleep then? And this happens all day every day all year long for the last 6 years…
If I am An-An, I will agree that life as a panda is not that enticing… In fact, it sucks big time. But what can one panda do besides eating 14 hours per day, do its daily business, and sleep… What is its purpose in life besides becoming a spectacle to people all around the world and become a selling product in a commercial world? (think Tare-Panda)
So what do you think? Should they be free, or should they be kept in a cage? Somehow I thought they would be better off if they are given a larger cage as big as Manhattan with no visitors… but that’s just me. 🙂