Wild sea lions destined for captivity
Frustrating news from the US today. I’ve just heard that at least 60 wild sea lions from the Colombia River area have sadly been targeted for capture. Accused of eating too many fish, they have been labelled as problem animals, and trapping will begin in April.
With zoos always on the look-out for wild caught animals to provide a genetic boost to their captive populations (a practice which makes a mockery of zoos claiming to be centres of conservation), it is unsurprising that zoos across the US have leaped at the chance to take in these ill-fated individuals. In fact, I am sure they will claim to be providing ‘refuge’ to animals which would otherwise be killed. Considering the amount of money it must surely cost to provide facilities and lifetime care for these animals, however, why are the zoos not instead offering to transport the sea lions to a safer wild environment? Has this even been explored as an option?
Sadly, it seems that these ‘problem’ sea lions, who have done little more than catch enough fish to survive, are going to be treated like human criminals – locked up for life! Colleagues in America are exploring legal options to save the sea lions. I hope they succeed.