Re: “A new, ‘100% adorable’ gorilla baby is born at Woodland Park Zoo” [Feb. 2, Environment]:
There is nothing to celebrate about Nadiri giving birth to a baby born into the tedium and misery of lifelong confinement. A tiny cage can’t replicate how this gorilla should live in order to be psychologically, physically and socially healthy. It is no wonder that Nadiri, who rejected her first baby, refused to nurse her second. What more than this do we need to know about the deleterious effect of captivity?
None of the gorillas confined at Woodland Park Zoo will be released into the wild, the gold standard of conservation. They will not join their wild relatives to sustain wild populations. The headline of an opinion piece written in 2019 for The Independent by Damian Aspinall, a conservationist who has raised and released 70 gorillas in Gabon, sums it up best: “Zoos are outdated and cruel — it’s time to make them a thing of the past.”
A start would be for Woodland Park Zoo to stop breeding wild animals. Anything less diminishes our humanity.
Alyne Fortgang, Seattle, co-founder, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants