Friday, July 04, 2008

Mann-Koga (From Richard Reynolds)

Mann-Koga, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Apropos Ken Kawata’s remarks on the Blog is this 1952 photo from a CFA gathering that included two of the world’s foremost zoo professionals, Dr. William Mann, director of the National Zoo, Washington, (seated at the far left wearing glasses) and Dr. Tadamichi Koga, Japan’s Mr. Zoo, long time director of Tokyo’s Ueno zoo and Ken Kawata's mentor. (second one standing on the right, prominent in his tie).

As Ken mentioned in his piece, this was from a time when zoo directors and curators were very friendly to circuses and appreciative of animals in the circus.

Dr. Mann was a very active member of CFA and circuses often called on him about animals, animal regulations, etc.

Other US zoo directors and curators from this period and earlier who were sympathetic to circus animals and/or sold and traded animals to and with circuses included - - - George Vierheller (St. Louis zoo – he operated wild animal shows at the zoo), the Beans –father and son (Brookfield zoo), Belle Benchley (San Diego zoo), Sol Stephan (Cincinnati zoo), Lee Crandall (Bronx zoo), Fred Ulmer (Philadelphia zoo), George Speidel (Milwaukee zoo), Dan Harkins (Boston zoo), Cy DeVry (Lincoln Park, Chicago), Fletcher Reynolds (Candler’s Briarcliff zoo, Atlanta, Cleveland zoo and a one time President of AZA), William Blackburn (National Zoo and one time Barnum animal man), Edmund Heller (Milwaukee and San Francisco zoos), Roland Lindermann (Catskill Game Farm), several directors of the Memphis zoo, and Theodor Schroder (Detroit zoo and one time polar bear trainer on RBBB and elsewhere).

Among more recent zoo men sympathetic to circus animals were Clayton Freiheit (Denver Zoo, a CHS member) and Frank Thompson (Jacksonville zoo). Thompson is now retired and Freiheit is now deceased (big loss - -one fine chap was he). But their ranks are thinning as Kawata pointed out. Many zoo directors of today will not consider selling or loaning an animal to a circus or receiving one from a show. Such has become politically incorrect. To use their vernacular, it offends the “ethics of the ark,” as such are promulgated and enacted by the AZA. To exercise independence is to risk loss of AZA accreditation and incur the wrath of the public as fueled by a biased press.


Anonymous said...

Precisely this same situation exists in Australia - even among zoos which would never have got a start were it not for donations of animals from circuses to them in their formative years.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest misdeeds of the current zoo and AZA groups is the blind eye turned to the breeding successes of the private animal industry. The best example of this is the Ringling elephant breeding program not being recognized by the AZA elephant TAG/SSP because the animals are apart of the circus and not in an accredited facility. If anyone doubts this, here are some examples. One of the Ringling bulls is on breeding loan to an AZA facility. This animals semen is highly requested by other zoos and the SSP is 100% behind it. NO ONE wanted this bull's semen when he was at the CEC! One closer to home, Audubon's elephant "Jean" was to be bred to Bucky Steele's "Buke" when he came back from Canada and was housed at an AZA facility. When Mr. Steele move "Buke" to his land, he was suddenly "not a viable option". Why?... At the 2003 AZA National Conf. they finally admitted that the private industry has done a much better job of breeding endangered species. The prvate industry reps on the panel discussion were a rep from Feld Ent., Joe Maynard of Exotic Feline Breeding Compound in Cali. and a turtle lady that I can't remember her name. The new elephant center that is scheduled for central Florida will be a test, in my eyes, as to the AZA's elephant intentions. Will they be willing to work with the Ringling farm that is vitually next door or will they sit on the white horse and pretend they are all alone in this.

Anonymous said...

One more thing I'd like to mention. The AZA standards on elephants disapproves of elephant/public interactions and elphants outside thier enclosures during public hours. We still do all this in fact we the accreditation commitee was here a few months back they enjoyed going with us on our daily jaunt through the zoo and they even got elephant rides back at the yard, we don't do public rides just special ones. When the report was filed they commended us for our clean back areas at the reptile house. I guess they were afraid to admit they enjoyed seeing elephants worked. A few weeks ago a former elephant keeper from a protected contact zoo came to visit and I invited him to meet the elephants and he said,"No,we are protected and we are taught to never go in with any elephants!" I told him that he called and asked for a tour and this is what I do and he had nothing to worry about. After about 15 minutes with us, he said he was always taught that free contact was bad, for people and elephants, but that's not what he was seeing. We even discussed circus, as I do in every tour. He left with a new apprciation for human/elephant relations but also cofused why people believed what he was taught. Because this kid wasn't an elephant keeper anymore, he could have been on his way to becoming an extremist based on the way he acted in the begining. I'd like to think I gave him something else to think about and maybe seeing things for himself instead of buying a line someone feeds you.