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January 14, 2012 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Little Girl Vs. Lion - Wellington Zoo
posted by The Whelk (69 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Poor lion, stuck in a zoo.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 7:02 AM on January 14, 2012 [44 favorites]


If you need me, I'll be in the car.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:02 AM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Next time, the children will be kept in glass-enclosed pens, while adults point and laugh.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:07 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Why do they make these single-serve packages so hard to open?!"
posted by Decimask at 7:09 AM on January 14, 2012 [44 favorites]


Don't mock the mouth that eats you.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:15 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't see any "taming" going on. I see a lion looking at a tasty treat.
posted by HopperFan at 7:15 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is what your cat thinks, every time s/he looks at you. Except the problem there is scale, not a transparent barrier.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:17 AM on January 14, 2012 [34 favorites]


"Adding comments has been disabled for this video."

I can't imagine why. I think this would probably be one of the rare occasions where I'd agree with most of them.
posted by afx237vi at 7:18 AM on January 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


I really, really hate zoos.
posted by curious nu at 7:21 AM on January 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


Ugh, I saw this a few days ago and commented to my husband that I thought it. Ust be very stressful for the Lion. At least when I take my kids to see wild animals at the drive-through safari we are the ones trapped behind glass and the big cats have a chance at getting at us.
posted by saucysault at 7:24 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I saw a movie once about this sort of thing, about what might happen if the enclosures weren't strong enough to contain the animals. The dynamic changed a lot when comfortable zoo guests were suddenly thrust out of passive spectator mode and made into prey. It was a fascinating study on the hubris of man and the unpredictability of nature. Also, the animals were dinosaurs.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:28 AM on January 14, 2012 [126 favorites]


yeah, poor guy.
posted by nicolin at 7:37 AM on January 14, 2012


Never underestimate the power of a girl who wears glasses!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:46 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Haha Whelk, I saw this on my local news on Tuesday. How does it feel to be internet-scooped by Kare11 out of Golden Valley?
posted by Think_Long at 7:55 AM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I saw a movie once about this sort of thing, about what might happen if the enclosures weren't strong enough to contain the animals.

That picture was The Beasts are on the Streets [YT clip]. It was Hanna-Barbera's only fully-live action effort, which was meant to cash in on the Irwin Allen craze.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:59 AM on January 14, 2012


Smart Dalek, I'm pretty certain that TWPL had another movie in mind.
posted by tdismukes at 8:12 AM on January 14, 2012


Do not taunt happy fun lion.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:21 AM on January 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


When I think of the Wellington Zoo, I think of this movie. The Lions are not nearly as scary as the rabid rats there!
posted by remo at 8:23 AM on January 14, 2012


The dynamic changed a lot when comfortable zoo guests were suddenly thrust out of passive spectator mode and made into prey. It was a fascinating study on the hubris of man and the unpredictability of nature. Also, the animals were dinosaurs.

Future War?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:23 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Next time, the children will be kept in glass-enclosed pens, while adults point and laugh.

The deliberately childless adults at least.

And the pens will be called 'houses'
posted by srboisvert at 8:34 AM on January 14, 2012


Yeah, that video is a bummer. Poor fucker wants to eat in peace.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:53 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


See also: Lioness tries to eat baby at the zoo (previously).

If there's one video that perfectly encapsulates the weird dumb arrogance of humanity, it's this. Four inches of pexiglass and suddenly we're the lords of all freakin' creation.
posted by fight or flight at 8:58 AM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


From Saucy's link:

David had noticed a gap in the tiger’s teeth when it clamped down on his arm and he was able to twist his arm free through that gap and as a result fell back into his seat.

Now that's some clear thinking.
posted by Huck500 at 9:02 AM on January 14, 2012


I can't believe the girl didn't even flinch. I was cowering from my comfy seat over here through the intertubes.
posted by fancyoats at 9:28 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The lion was probably just getting impatient because he thought the girl was there to give him his beauty treatment.
posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Louis CK on Lions
posted by empath at 9:46 AM on January 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


The lion was probably just getting impatient because he thought the girl was there to give him his beauty treatment .

I was expecting something along the lines of this.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:54 AM on January 14, 2012


Poor lion, window shopping in the end is really unfulfilling. Keep dreaming friend!
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:58 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would bet more is spent on stuffed toy animal lions than real lion preservation in a given year.
posted by benzenedream at 10:01 AM on January 14, 2012


I think this is really bad design for a large predator exhibit. At Audubon Zoo in New Orleans all of the large mammal exhibits have the human observers high above a moat. You do occasionally see the big cats eyeing up kids with that "please oh please drop it" look but it doesn't seem nearly as frustrating to them as this cat which is very obvously salivating and cursing the gods that created the fucking glass.

I understand the desire to give the public a really close lookat the animals, but do it with the otters and monkeys, not the animals whose natural inclination is to eat things that are our size. That has to make life harder for the zookeepers too. I know from the behind the scenes tours that our zoo puts a lot of effort into making the big predators think of humans as friends and benefactors instead of munchies.
posted by localroger at 10:04 AM on January 14, 2012


I wish animals at the zoo could communicate the way this monkey does.
posted by Fizz at 10:12 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really, really hate zoos.

Yeah. More or less. Maybe I'd need to be more of a "cat person" to really get some of the good-natured patter in this thread, but I just find myself really not liking that little girl, which really means HER PARENTS, or whoever the adults are that are allowing her (encouraging her) to be so thoughtlessly cruel to a sad, beautiful animal.
posted by philip-random at 10:15 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh man it's fun to imagine if the glass wasn't there.. she'd be shreds in 2 seconds!
posted by ReeMonster at 10:22 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, lions are BIG! Kinda reminded me of the Where The Wild Things Are movie.
posted by Tom-B at 10:25 AM on January 14, 2012


The adult in there is saying "I think it's telling you not to stand so close, Sofia." And then she eventually pulls the children away.
Just saying, they're not all pointing and laughing.

I feel really sorry for the lion who is not able to move away from the damn glass!
posted by Omnomnom at 10:58 AM on January 14, 2012


This is like looking at a snack in the vending machine but not having any change.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:21 AM on January 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


I am not a Lion expert, but it looks to me more like the Lion wanted to play with rather than eat her. Large predators in zoos are kept very well fed, so I doubt it was hungry. Remove the size of the thing and it looks just like a cat pawing at a piece of string.
posted by Vindaloo at 11:34 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Oh man it's fun to imagine if the glass wasn't there.. she'd be shreds in 2 seconds!
posted by ReeMonster at 10:22 AM on January 14
"

That comment is just disturbing.
posted by Vindaloo at 11:35 AM on January 14, 2012


Zoos are good and bad. Good in that there are a lot of quality zoos that do a lot for conservation and public awareness education. Bad in that there are many poor ones, and many animals in zoos that would otherwise be living in the wild (with the acknowledgement that many of them would also be dead from lack of habitat or poor health).

Personally I am glad that my son can learn about animals he would otherwise never see by attending our local zoo. Seeing them yourself builds empathy (see comments above sympathizing with the lion!) and having empathy for the animals means more people might care about keeping them and their habitats safe and viable.

Here is my son learning about leopards. Learning that they are big, beautiful, and hopefully instilling some idea that they are something to respect, value, and try to save. (No, the leopard did not go nuts behind the glass - and yes, the enclosure is plenty large enough for the leopard to go elsewhere or hide if it chooses.)

It's a tough choice but I have to side favorably with responsibly run zoos. See, the alternative to having zoos and preserves and the like is to have local people value these animals only as a source of fur or meat, rather than recognizing that people will pay just for the right to see them. Poorly run zoos,private ranches, and preserves do not count. Those should be shut down for the benefit of all. So tired of seeing shows about people getting mauled or killed by privately owned large predators... Private ownership, or ownership without licensed, scientifically valid and federally monitored preservation programs, should be flat illegal.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:38 AM on January 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I can't believe the girl didn't even flinch.

Look again. Her shoulders move up to around her ears, and stay there for at least five seconds after the lion stops.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:38 AM on January 14, 2012


Does it really matter if they're pointing and laughing or not?
posted by 2N2222 at 11:40 AM on January 14, 2012


You know, I get that some people don't like zoos and I get why, but really, the animals in zoos have been knocked several pegs up Maslov's heirarchy of needs. Yes, I'm sure they're bored sometimes (although the better zoos, like The Bronx Zoo, use massive amounts of space simulating the animals' natural environments, while the visitors really only get peeks at a few portions of it) but you know what probably sucks more? Fear of being eaten or not finding food yourself.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:41 AM on January 14, 2012


Many zoos put warming devices on the stones near windows, making them into comfortable perches that happen to be close to the glass. I doubt the lion was stressed any more than any lion in a zoo would be (which is a separate question).
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:43 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the related videos is equally brilliant (if not moreso) because its at one of those high viewpoint zoos localroger mentions and it shows a lion... well, I won't spoil it.
posted by Decimask at 11:43 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


it's

I think I need to stop using contractions.

posted by Decimask at 11:44 AM on January 14, 2012


Put 'em up, put 'em up! Which one of you first? I'll fight you both together if you want. I'll fight you with one paw tied behind my back. I'll fight you standing on one foot. I'll fight you with my eyes closed... ohh, pullin' an axe on me, eh? Sneaking up on me, eh? Why, I'll... Ruff!
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:53 AM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have to imagine that enclosure is bigger than a phone booth, so I'm not sure that lion doesn't just pick that corner so he can play with his IPad. Add some more plexiglass, motion sensors and put shock collars on the children and that lion would be about as stimulated as he could handle.

I know nothing about the Wellington zoo, but the old St. Louis zoo used to have a huge cheetah enclosure (and they've updated it since then) but despite the size, there would regularly be one or two animals scrunched up in the one corner closest to the sidewalk, about 30 inches away from you, leaned up against the fence all "C'mon, the zoo keeper isn't looking. Scratch a big cat behind the ears. You know you wanna!"

If you were wondering, a purring cheetah sounds like a slow idling lawn mower.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:17 PM on January 14, 2012


I love big cat feedings at the san francisco zoo. The animals are behind bars, people stand behind a railing three feet away from the bars. One can smell the cats, feel their breath on one's face when the sniff the air, and the roars resonate in one's bones.

Lots of crying children, even more when they realize the cats are eating bunnies.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 12:31 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's horrible for the lion for sure. But my other response is that this kid has been so desensitised to real danger by large screen televisions that she probably wouldn't move if an out of control bus was heading towards the window. She's got a classic TV response, in my opinion.
posted by taff at 12:36 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to work as a volunteer horticulturist at the National Zoo in DC. I got to go in and out of inclosures and tend to plants around the park and it gave me a better than average perspective about the goings on of both the animals and the visitors at the zoo.

Working at the zoo gave me a very low impression of my fellow human visitors. Lack of respect and reverence to the enclosed animals was the norm. Most people tend to ignore the informational plaques describing the animals in their exhibits as parents pass misinformation down to their children, calling apes "monkeys," calling leopards "tigers," calling American bison "African buffalo." The majority of adults don't think for a second about the stress or well being of an already caged animal while their children bang on the glass under a sign that says "please do not tap glass." Ignorant people scream and shout "yo bear...DO SOMETHING!" at a bear that is trying to sleep...or at a crepuscular mammal in the middle of the day...or simply scream at an elephant.

That being said...I do not object to zoos as a whole. I tend to think the animals do generally have it good and are likely only as depressed as the most depressed of the humans looking at them. Selfishly, zoos allow me to get a close look at the others who share this planet with us and may be a good tool for future conservation.

Videos like this, though, remind me of my time working at a zoo and daily seeing a sort of lack of respect for the animals that really got me down...where the animals are just clowns for our entertainment. It kind of highlights a fact that for most people on earth the attitude is that animals are really just here in service of human beings...rather than other members of a global community. I feel that, even when looking from behind glass, people should keep a respectful distance.
posted by jnnla at 12:39 PM on January 14, 2012 [14 favorites]


People are being such prigs here, it's amazing.

Look, this is a cat. Cats love the thrill of the hunt, even when it doesn't win them a kill. That's why a catnip high makes cats act like they're hunting.

The lion had a good time. The child was unharmed. All is well.
posted by ocschwar at 12:41 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


although the better zoos, like The Bronx Zoo

Really? The lasting mental images I have of the Bronx Zoo are of a tiger and polar bear neurotically pacing their tiny enclosures.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:43 PM on January 14, 2012


David Arnatsiaq fights hand to hand with a polar bear.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:13 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really, really hate zoos.

Yeah, should just let extinctions run their course I suppose.
posted by the noob at 2:36 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not much makes me more sad than animals trapped in a zoo, except maybe a circus, dolphin park, rodeo, or some damn fool who thinks an "exotic pet" is a good idea.
posted by FeralHat at 3:23 PM on January 14, 2012


If you were wondering, a purring cheetah sounds like a slow idling lawn mower.

It feels like one, too. My girlfriend and I had a half hour close encounter with a Cheetah at Wellington Zoo yesterday. The one we met, Charlie, had this sad high pitched miaow that made you melt and then feel terrible for taking him away from his brother, Delta, who was still in the enclosure just over the fence.
posted by bright ideas for a cheery christmas at 3:42 PM on January 14, 2012


Yeah, should just let extinctions run their course I suppose.

It's a good thing that zoos are the only answer to that, and that all zoos are specifically constructed for that purpose!

Wait...
posted by curious nu at 4:06 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's a good thing that zoos are the only answer to that, and that all zoos are specifically constructed for that purpose!

Well, yeah, sadly there are zoos and zoos. There are also collectors like that fucking bozo that collected and released the wild animals before killing himself.
posted by the noob at 5:07 PM on January 14, 2012


I found the adults' reactions in this video quite interesting. They kept telling the girl to move away from the glass as though she was in impending danger, and she barely batted an eyelid. While she did look visibly a little frightened, the smile on her face instead of the reaction I assume most kids her age would have (screaming/crying) made me think she was in casting for a movie that required an Awesome Fearless Kid.

And then you year the parents in the background again, and watch their stupid pointing hands, and the rising lilt of hysteria in their voices, and realise she's even more awesome.
posted by chronic sublime at 5:18 PM on January 14, 2012


well, I won't spoil it

I will just say that I am pretty sure that Harper had a clearer idea of the situation than the one his parents were presenting....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:27 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmm, one person's entertainment is another person's form of cruelty :\
posted by Calzephyr at 5:38 PM on January 14, 2012


A little more explanation from the Zoo, with a link to photos of the lion enclosure.

I haven't been to the Wellington Zoo but they had their own TV show for a while that showed what goes on behind the scenes. It seems to be a pretty animal-friendly zoo that generally considers the animals' comfort and privacy over visitors' views. In one of the photos in the link the caption says the lions have a big grassy area behind the rocky outcrops that is out of sight for guests.

It's definitely not like the San Francisco lion cages (my own photo) or the fish tank at MGM in Vegas. Ugh.
posted by tracicle at 5:58 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


While she did look visibly a little frightened, the smile on her face instead of the reaction I assume most kids her age would have (screaming/crying) made me think she was in casting for a movie that required an Awesome Fearless Kid.

It made me think she will in a few years be here disucssing BDSM topics.
posted by localroger at 6:26 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, in Japan...
posted by Ritchie at 7:03 PM on January 14, 2012


If man's disregard for the dignity of animals disturbs you, then I suggest you never, ever go to a zoo in India.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:18 PM on January 14, 2012


Yeah, the most depressing times I've had at zoos are due to the arrogant and wilfully ignorant people and their annoying children. But we don't have 'private' zoos like the ones I've heard about from US news. Although I do wonder about Steve Irwin's one, which his family is maintaining, but I haven't been there myself so I'll reserve judgement on that one.

I love the Wellington Zoo tv show, it really helps you understand how much work they put into making the animals lives as enriching as possible. All of the animals have large private zones to hang out in if they want to get away from the shrieking children and pointing fingers.
posted by harriet vane at 8:51 PM on January 14, 2012


From what I saw at the San Francisco zoo, the big cats are not confined to the cages; they're there for feeding, and have free access to the outdoor enclosure beyond the far wall. If any lion or tiger is in the cage, it's because they want to be.
posted by CancerMan at 9:18 AM on January 15, 2012


Great! Now I've been reinfected with the Kenya earworm.
posted by unliteral at 5:48 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


GenjiandProust: "This is what your cat thinks, every time s/he looks at you. Except the problem there is scale, not a transparent barrier."

One of my cats does that pawing thing a lot. He mostly targets windows, cupboards and walls, but once in a while the target is me.
posted by deborah at 9:53 PM on January 16, 2012


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