In a stunning example of a zoo having a total lack of understanding for animal conservation, the Langenberg Wildlife Park outside of Zurich, Switzerland has chosen to put their own animals on the menu in their restaurant due to their unsustainable mating habits. No, we aren’t kidding.
According to their website, the wildlife park touts their enclosure free accommodations for their animals and says that they’re, “involved with projects to preserve them and promote their resettlement.” Sounds great! Does making them into a roast count as “resettlement?” Because, for real, one of the menu items is “braised wild boar roast” along with “deer cutlet” from the park. We couldn’t make this up, people.
Martin Kilchenmann, the park’s spokesman, defended the parks decision, saying that the meat was, “very ecological” and that it showed the animal’s “natural cycle.” Yeah, because it’s totes natural to be hunted at a “wildlife park” and made into an entree. He went on to explain that this is helpful because, “the consumer understands the way from animal to meat on the plate.” So, for an establishment that touts conservation, they’re saying that the takeaway we should get from visiting their park is that an animal’s natural cycle is to cruise around in nature until it’s time for them to end up as lunch?
Zoos. They’re all about the educational opportunities.
While Kilchenmann went on to state that park-goers mainly, “show goodwill and support our approach,” patrons have voiced their disgust. “Is this not an April Fool’s joke?” one visitor told the online paper Der Landbote after seeing the menu offerings. “I can hardly believe it, this surprised me very much.”
This situation is the perfect example for how throwing around the word “conservation” doesn’t actually mean that something is, indeed, conservation. It’s like walking down the street and screaming the word, “Yahtzee!” at random strangers for no reason. Just because you say something doesn’t mean you’re actually doing it or, in the case of Langenberg Wildlife Park, even know what the heck it means.
If this zoo was truly a part of conservation efforts, as other actual wildlife parks are, their purpose would be to rehabilitate threatened animals with the intention of releasing them back into their natural habitats. The need to “manage” their overpopulation wouldn’t be an issue, as their population would be steadily going back to the wild and not kept for people to buy tickets to see … or eat.
Lead Image Credit: Zuerich.com