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Was the decision to shoot three Colchester Zoo wolves the right one?
10:05am Wednesday 27th November 2013 in News
ANIMAL rights campaigners say the decision to shoot dead three wolves reignites the debate about whether zoos have a place in the 21st century.
Five wolves escaped from their enclosure at Colchester Zoo yesterday.
One returned unharmed and one was tranquilised, but three were killed by marksmen.
Liz Tyson, director of the Captive Animals’ Protection Society, said: “The news from Colchester Zoo is tragic on a number of fronts.
“Not only have these majestic wild animals been forced to spend their entire lives in captivity, but three of them have paid for the zoo’s apparent failure to maintain the enclosure’s perimeter fence with their lives.”
Kate Fowler, head of campaigns at Animal Aid, said: “It is never right to keep wild animals in zoos and, over the years, there have been many escapees.
“For those who truly care about animals, this is a wakeup call. Allowwild animals to stay wild, and let zoos die away.”
Sue McNaught, 46, was walking her dogs at Gosbecks Archaelogical Park, which overlooks the zoo, when the gunshots sounded.
She said: “It is amazing. If wolves can escape from the zoo, any animal can.
“It is quite sad they had to shoot them, but they have got to protect the public. Somany people walk their dogs in this area.”
Phil Watson, chairman of the Anglian Wolf Society, said the chances of a wolf hurting someone were fairly slim, but they could have posed a danger if they had been hand-raised.
He said: “If they haven’t been they will be terrified of humans. They won’t want to go near them so will run away. If they have been handraised, you’ve taken away the fear of human beings.”
Numerous animals have escaped since the zoo opened in 1963.
A young female red river hog escaped from Colchester Zoo in July this year.
Despite a number of sightings, she has still not been caught.
In the Sixties, a wallaby escaped and in the Seventies a bison was on the loose.
Ben Williamson, from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said: “When animals which have been denied basic necessities see an opportunity to escape their dreary lives, they often take it.”
Here's what readers think
KATIE WELLS-GREEN: Someone’s
head should be on the line. These
are dangerous animals.
The safety of the public has to be of
paramount importance. Really need
to blame the person in charge.
CHARLOTTE CORNELL: Poor
wolves. It’s not their fault, but the
incompetent staff that wasn’t making
sure their enclosure was safe.
RACHEL SHARPE: “Naturally timid,”
so they shoot them. They are
disgusting. It’s their fault for not
having a safe and secure place for
TRACY JOHNSON: Disgusting
murdering the wolves. It’s not their
fault they escaped – they are only
doing what comes naturally.
If they are timid animals, I don't
understand why they would kill them
ZOE ROYAL GISBY-GOULDING:
Sickens me wolves have been killed
because they were obviously too
stupid to notice a massive hole in the
Comments are closed on this article.