Aug 19, 2010

Dead or Alive

Wanted: Meat. Preferably alive. That is, if you're a carnivore. But most carnivores in zoos find themselves being fed something more along the lines of a hamburger... or in zoo lingo "a meatsicle." And like in the movie "Supersize Me," the result of this diet is a bunch of overweight, lethargic, unhappy animals lying around in the zoo. So, a new wave of zoo reformers are suggesting that to make these caged carnivores happy, we should be feeding them whole carcasses, or better yet, whole live animals. We visit two zoos who are trying to recreate this gory element of wildness, and see how visitors feel about watching it. First up, NPR Science reporter Nell Boyce takes us carcass-tossin' at the Toledo Zoo. And then we follow reporter Jocelyn Ford onto a bus in China where hungry lions lick their chops at the squawking cargo. The question here is just how far will we go to be 'humane', and when does it get us right back to a point dangerously close to the Romans?

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