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A Zoo View
updated: Dec 07, 2012, 9:50 AM

By Denise Dewire

My friend and I spent a few hours at the Santa Barbara Zoo. I haven't visited the zoo since my kids were small and that's been a long time! Loved the penguins and the flamingos, especially seeing lots of young flamingos just getting their pink colors.

Can you guess what type of bird those feet belong to? I thought they were quite interesting.

I used my 70-200 lens the entire day as I knew we wouldn't be close to most of the animals.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 351330P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:24 AM

I guess this is their punishment for being beautiful. Imprisoned and far from their native habitat. How sad.

 

 COMMENT 351334P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:27 AM

330P agree, but, sadly, much of the habitats are gone.

Feet, I think, belong to a grebe.

 

 EMUWREN1 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:48 AM

Humans can often be such a remorseless and sadistic species. Is there any other animal that holds other species captive until those species sicken and die? Any other animal that keeps other species enslaved and on display?
Everyone who spends a dime at zoos instead should be donating that money to preserve habitats. Then, maybe, we'd be helping and not demeaning these birds, elephants, giraffes, lions, and that poor, poor gorilla. What did he do to deserve this terrible fate? How can anyone look at these animals and not feel their grief and confusion over their lost freedom?

 

 COMMENT 351344 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:51 AM

Stupid comments so far!

Beautiful pictures.

 

 COMMENT 351352P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:59 AM

I especially love the last gorilla picture -- he looks like he's posing for a fashion magazine! Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.

 

 COMMENT 351353 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 11:02 AM

If you don't understand the benefits of zoos and zoological systems, then you don't understand the foundation of your familiarity, knowledge, compassion for these animals. Zoos are educational and preserve species that left to the outside world would already be extinct.

Thank you for the awesome photos!

 

 COMMENT 351356 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 11:04 AM

Fabulous photos. You are an artist with a camera.

 

 COMMENT 351367 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 11:30 AM

For everyone harping about zoos (yet again), I suggest you move to their remote habitats and restore them yourselves. I get tired of these slacktivists who think that because they donate money, they are free of blame. You are still a human, and the fact that you are using a computer means you, too, contributed to the mining of precious metals in central Africa that displaced that gorilla.

 

 COMMENT 351377P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 12:00 PM

Zoos educate people about the animals and that makes them more conscious of having to preserve them in nature. Otherwise, it would be out of site, out of mind. Nothing says that we can't contribute to both the Zoo and the World Wildlife Fund. Beautiful photographs. Thank you for posting.

 

 COMMENT 351378P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 12:01 PM

If we want to accept that wild animals species are destined to never survive in their natural habitats because of human avarice, then a zoo is a great solution. Sort of like if you like sweet things, but there's no sugar cane available, saccharine will do.
But, if we refuse to accept that a prison--make no mistake, that's what a confined, fenced urban postage stamp space with no normal feeding, ranging or social structures available is-- then zoos are unequivocally immoral, cruel and wrong.

 

 COMMENT 351380P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 12:09 PM

Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures. I appreciate them greatly.

Zoos in this country are held to standards. Violations result in loss of accreditation. Loss of accreditation means loss of funding, prestige, respect within the field and no other zoo will loan their animals to you. In fact, other organizations would start stepping in to help "oversee" the place and make recommendations that could lead to closure.

The zoos of today are nothing like the zoos that you may have experienced as a child. The profession is continually evolving. If you're painting all zoos with the same forty year old brush, I'd say you're committing a disservice.

 

 COMMENT 351387 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 12:29 PM

Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing. I especially love the photo of the lion.

 

 COMMENT 351401 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 01:06 PM

The lion picture really struck me! Never seen one in that position before.

 

 BULLSEYEB agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 01:24 PM

My two favorite photos are the feet and the feathers. Beautiful! They all are!

Denise, DAYLIGHT said it perfectly, "You are an artist with a camera."

Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

 

 COMMENT 351412P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 01:33 PM

Wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing. To you anti-zoo folks, millions of people learned about other animals, about conservation, about habitat restoration, and care enough to do something about it because of zoos. Most zoo animals live longer than wild animals, are well fed, cared for, and loved, and the zoo makes sure their lives are interesting and enriched. Read Gerald Durrell to understand better. Modern zoos preserve species that would otherwise have gone extinct.

 

 COMMENT 351427 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 01:52 PM

I knew by posting these pictures, it would create a lot of comments, both negative and positive.

At first I thought there was only one gorilla and he looked at me with those eyes and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. But a few minutes later around the corner here came the other one and they were having a great time. It made me feel better.

But as several have mentioned, zoos have to meet standards, educate people and help with research so it can't be all bad!

As far as the feet....they belong to a Coot. Have never paid attention to them before. There were several hanging around the zoo and this one was with the Flamingos.

Appreciate all the great comments!

 

 COMMENT 351440 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 02:45 PM

Less negativity more positive energy. Beautiful animals being cared for by dedicated individuals beat bad vibes any day!

 

 COMMENT 351442 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 03:09 PM

for the record, ants farm aphids and caterpillars.

 

 COMMENT 351449 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 03:28 PM

You captured some emotion in these, denise dewire - is the non-intrusive fast lens you used a Nikon? - do you bench it or carry around a mono or tripod to stabilize the lens or does your lens have VR? Clear, colorful compositions that also show expressions make these zoo pics worth wondering over for a live view - better then seeing critters standing in their cages looking forlorn, as I remember of zoo visits from childhood.

 

 COMMENT 351543P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 07:04 PM

I'm sure your intent was to post and share these gorgeous pictures and not to launch another discussion about what is perceived to be cruelty towards animals. That is always going to be an issue here on edhat, but isn't that what is so great about being here? People can express and share their views, and we don't always have to agree. The pictures are very good. Can someone tell me why all of the pictures are able to send as a postcard except for the last one?

 

 COMMENT 351547 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 07:37 PM

#449...

I'm a Canon user and the lens I used for the day was a 70-200 f/4. No mono or tripod and yes, lens & camera have image stabilization. Would love the 70-200 2.8 version but not only is it quite a bit more expensive, also heavier.

I shoot in manual mode and had to bump up the ISO a few times to 800 in order to get a fast enough shutter speed to capture water drops or because it was a bit dark where I was shooting.

 

 COMMENT 351565 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:41 PM

Thx Denise, all these captures show good contrast-I have a Nikon dslr, getting ready to jump from kit lense 18-105mm to a 70-200mm but hesitate due to same issues you mention, weight and cost for faster lens. Always enjoy viewing your and Aqua's contributions on Edhat!

 

 COMMENT 351569P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:44 PM

WoW those pictures are wonderful The colors on the birds!Love to see the giraffee I would be scaired to get to close to the gorilla.. I have had 2 friends work there and they just love being with the animals. Great pictures!

 

 COMMENT 351571 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 08:47 PM

You have made it so hard to vote for your favorite photo>>.
I love them all!!!!

 

 COMMENT 351591P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 10:58 PM

How disheartening that some people still believe what they have been spoon fed for years regarding zoos. The primary lesson children learn from visiting zoos is that their parents and others condone animal captivity. The primary reason zoos exist is to make money.

For each and every one of you who hold forth that imprisonment benefits the animals by lengthening their lives and that there is "enrichment" enough, and still you never question what zoos do with their surplus animals, all I can reply is: Please, please allow me keep you in a small enclosure for years on end. Allow me to feed you, put you on display and subject you to chattering, camera-toting humans. You will have no freedom and a lifetime of boredom is guaranteed. No need to forage and mate as you choose. All such decisions will be made for you. It won't matter to me whether or not you wish to partake in this venture.

I will be your master and overseer. When your cute babies are too grown to be considered a real draw, I will trade them to other zoos, sell them for canned hunts or to private collectors.

If it's okay for the elephants and lions and the gorillas and the giraffes to endure such unnatural lives, why can't you become part of my lucrative and educational exhibit? Don't worry about your gift of speech. If you protest too much, I will have veterinarians on hand to help with that small problem.

Too bad the zoo animals can't speak for themselves. Now that would be educational for you.

 

 EMUWREN1 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-07 11:29 PM

Anyone who seeks knowledge will learn from reading this article by Amy Whiting:

http://www.alv.org.au/issues/whatswrongwithzoos.php

Extremely enlightening. Keep an open mind and please read.

 

 POWDRELL agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 05:36 AM

Beautiful photography. Thanks for sharing the images with us.

 

 COMMENT 351627 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 07:40 AM

Nice work. I especially loved the splash of colours in the close up of the plumage.

As for the zoo argument.... there are too many pros and cons on both sides. If it wasn't for zoos there would be no pandas for example. Pretty soon the only gene pool for tigers will be those in captivity. Elephants, gorillas and rhinos are being poached into extinction and other animals are slaughtered for sport by fee paying "hunters" - not for their meat but for trophies.

Sure, being cooped up in a well run zoo sucks but so does being in a private zoo without standards or in the wild with fewer resources for survival and high powered rifles with night scopes waiting to ambush you at every available watering hole.

 

 COMMENT 351648 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 08:28 AM

Such joyous pictures! I had captions for most of them and saved them for my screen saver! Thanks for the fun!

 

 COMMENT 351651 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 08:31 AM

Zoos have both plusses and minuses -- good for teaching, but bad re captivity.
What I don't like re the local zoo is their allowing noisy parties held by humans -- bands, dancing, loud music and voices -- all have no part in a zoo -- please! must damage all the creatures held there, (as if they weren't already being damaged) --

 

 COMMENT 351655P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 08:36 AM

Coot feet!

 

 RDH agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 08:57 AM

Lovely Images, Denise. After visiting a zoo and being able to get pictures of animals at close, controlled range, I really appreciate the skill, patience and perseverance that must be requited for those fabulous animal picture taken in the wild.

 

 ANDY agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 09:09 AM

Fabulous photos. You truly are an artist. Anti zoo people don't understand the full picture. Ignore them.

 

 COMMENT 351686 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 09:28 AM

Loved the photos. Thank you.

 

 COMMENT 351707 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 10:18 AM

Except for the lion photo they are all beautiful. The poor lion looks like it has been shot and it waiting to be stuffed!

 

 COMMENT 351731 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 12:10 PM

It is too bad that negative opinion and thought can completely destroy and override a picture of beauty. The photographer has brought to us visions that we do not ordinarly see in our Dailey life. Be thankful that we have eyes to see this beauty. If sight leaves any of us tomorrow, we all will be thankful for the beauty we saw today.

 

 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 05:39 PM

Awwwww -cute lioness. Who volunteers to put the Edhat T-shirt on her? Nice phot of the feathers (also baby flamingos)

 

 SEEDLADY agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 07:18 PM

I tried to vote for one of these as picture of the day, but they weren't there; however a lot of bizarre restaurant/party pix were. What gives, ed?

 

 COMMENT 351845P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 04:50 AM

Penguins belong in the ocean. Poor babies.

 

 COMMENT 351909P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 09:38 AM

People have romantic notions of "the wild" and "animals." Not all animals are the same and they are not all as conscious as humans of their captivity. So do you see any grizzly bears, or even many brown bears, around Santa Barbara in "the wild"? Condors? No, because people overrun the Earth and make even the remaining wilderness habitats precarious. Many of these animals live in zoos because they were rescued from human predation and/or habitat destruction. Africa has numerous sanctuaries for great apes whose mothers were killed by poachers, their hands and heads removed as trophies. Most birds do fine in captivity, interacting well with people. Ergo zoos have lots of birds. Yes, the macaws might be perching among the rainforest canopy somewhere other than here... where they also might be poached for their gorgeous feathers. No, I don't think they should all be captured for their own good, but neither do I think their lives in zoos are so repugnant as to make it preferable to push them out into that human maelstrom on their own recognizance. Smashingly beautiful photos, btw.

 

 COMMENT 351979P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 02:55 PM

"Most birds do fine in captivity." Oh, well. Okay then. That makes it all good. Winged creatures kept in enclosures. Penguins with tiny pools of water.
You keep thinking that, if it makes you feel better.

 

 COMMENT 352176 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-10 09:27 AM

agree with 330P & 334P wonderful pix.

 

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