Zoo that changes with animal welfare June 30, 14:15

Did you know that zoos have changed all over the country in recent years?

An exhibition facility for brown bears flowing through the river, a facility for breeding Asian elephants in groups, and a facility for tigers overgrown with plants.

The number of exhibition methods to get closer to the natural environment is gradually increasing.

The idea of ​​"animal welfare" is the basis for the widespread use of breeding and exhibitions.

This time, we will approach this "animal welfare".

Challenge the problem!

First, let's take a look at the entrance exam questions related to the zoo.

The problem

zoo has an important role other than being familiar with and being healed by various animals.

Answer one of them.

(Keio Futsubu School 2018)

Examples of answers include "protection and breeding of rare animals," "education on ecology and the environment," and "research for species conservation."

The zoo used to be a leisure facility, but in recent years, the role of protecting and breeding rare animals in the answer examples has become more important.

What is "animal welfare"?

What is its purpose?

We spoke with Etsuo Narushima, a former managing director of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which has 140 zoos and aquariums nationwide.

Mr. Narishima is said to have been involved in efforts based on "animal welfare" during his tenure.

Mr. Narishima

"Animal welfare is to think mainly about animals to create an environment that makes animals feel happy based on scientific evidence."

The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums has compiled guidelines for breeding in line with "Animal Welfare."

The breeding method, such as whether to keep in a herd or alone, the size and structure of the facility, and the appropriate temperature and humidity are described in detail for each type of animal.

Zoos affiliated with the association will refer to these guidelines when raising animals.

Mr. Narishima

"We will create an environment where animals can do the same things in the natural world at the zoo. By doing so, breeding will be successful, and visitors will respect the animals by seeing the wild appearance. Isn't it born? "

Animals are lively!

At Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo City, we are proceeding with the renovation of facilities based on "animal welfare".

One of them, the Asian elephant exhibition facility, was built at a total construction cost of about 3 billion yen.

The area is 5200 square meters, both indoors and outdoors, which is one of the largest in Japan, and four animals are bred.

There is an indoor pool where you can bathe even in winter, and the floor is covered with sand. Various ideas have been devised so that the elephants can spend their time comfortably, and the elephants feel comfortable on the sand. It seems that he may lie down and sleep.

The accident that triggered

Maruyama Zoo is working to create a comfortable environment for animals, but once there was an accident in which an important animal died due to "wrong breeding".

In nature, three sun bears, usually acting alone, were placed in the same facility for breeding training.

As a result, one of them was bitten and killed.

It was a tragedy caused by breeding that ignored the ecology of sun bears.

Maruyama Zoo Director Shinkenju

"We should have done it firmly based on scientific evidence, but we started with our own rules of thumb and it did not work in the end. Since then, we think about animal welfare and animal happiness. We are breeding things first. "

Enactment of "Zoo Ordinance"

Sapporo City, which operates Maruyama Zoo, has also started to respond.

In June 2022, the "Zoo Ordinance" was enacted for the first time by local governments nationwide, which stipulates the roles and responsibilities of zoos.

The ordinance stipulates that "animal welfare" should be ensured so that animals can take their original actions without feeling pain or anxiety, and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.

And, in order to respect the dignity of animals, users should directly contact animals by feeding, except for facilities that come into contact with sheep and guinea pigs, and make animals look and act like humans. It is stipulated that it should not be done.

Etsuo Narishima, Former Managing Director of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums

"Animal shows should be something that draws out and shows the abilities of animals, but those that train and teach unnatural movements will discourage animals. I think the Zoo Ordinance enacted by the city of Sapporo is wonderful in that it legally supports the welfare of animals. "

The "animal welfare" issue is

Efforts based on animal welfare are being promoted at zoos throughout the country.

Under such circumstances, Mr. Narishima points out that securing a budget for renovating facilities is a major issue.

Mr. Narishima

"About 70% to 80% of Japanese zoos are municipalities, and there is a tendency to try to keep the entrance fee as low as possible. However, entrance fees of 3000 to 4000 yen are commonplace in foreign zoos. Considering that, and the beneficiary burden, it may be a little higher. Furthermore, since the local government's finances are in a difficult situation, I think it is necessary to create a mechanism to solicit donations widely. "

From the viewpoint of animal welfare, some zoos want to create a large facility, but they cannot do it, and as a result, they give up on animal breeding.

Through this interview, I wanted to think about how to make the zoo attractive to both animals and our visitors.

In "Migake, Curiosity!" Of "Weekly Maru-Knowledge News" (broadcast at 8:25 am on Sunday), we will delve into the news every week on the subject of current affairs given in the entrance examination.

Let's think of "why?", In fact, "in the first place" that you want to know as a Kamakura caster.

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