Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Letter to the Bronx Zoo

To Whom It May Concern at the Bronx Zoo and Someone Who Might Listen:

I hope you're off to a great summer. My name is AJ Naseem. I am a professional blogger, writer, freelancer and educational filmmaker and musician. Formerly, I was a museum professional and development specialist for several non-profit organizations and am writing to you as a professional researcher and activist. I visited the Bronx Zoo recently and wanted to follow-up with some general and specific thoughts. Why? Because, I had very strong feelings concerning the wildlife at the Bronx Zoo that I wanted to share with someone who might listen and take appropriate action.

I also write a professional blog devoted to many things including spirituality and the coexistence of matter within overall space and often, use wildlife analogies to underline some of my metaphysical points. Thus, my trip to the zoo this year was largely driven by my work in this area and served as an anthropological field study. The main thrust of my work discusses the critical need to realize the temporal nature of matter and how it coexists within a three dimensional world, and thus carries out defined material obligations, when no material obligation need be defined as a factor of time, thus promulgating the importance of a mover or supernatural life force. Animals who are often restricted to their material obligations seem to embody a lesser will for abstinence from those material obligations and this is often cited in my work. Thus, my trip to the zoo was highly enlightening and sentimental.

I am concerned. I think zoological societies and conservation efforts are very important but they can often be excessive, exaggerated and mismanaged. As a meta-physician, I strongly believe that animals belong in the wild where they can live out their material obligations as defined by their supernatural material obligations that ultimately govern their worldly existence. An animal in a cage is indeed contradictory. However, birds and other creatures that live peaceably in mild containment can often thrive and seem happier. Wildlife in the wild are indeed happy if left alone to prosper. My concern is mainly with several animals at the zoo in particular.

1) The lion - my impression was that this king of the jungle seemed to me highly irritable in his captive state. Thus, I feel very strongly that this particular lion or pride should be relocated from the zoo immediately. They don't seem happy and I sensed a longing for the wild. Any animal or creature that is subject to intense, and prolonged commercial and public observation can grow irritable, confused and hostile. Seeing an animal in such hostile conditions is unacceptable and is anti-educational. This lion and his family should be removed from captivity and WCS should consider very strongly to interchange wildlife exhibits at the zoo to ensure that the wildlife are not abused or overly exposed. They deserve their freedom.

2) One of the tigers (the elder) also seemed tired and profoundly disenchanted with her surroundings. This tiger should be returned to the wild or plans should be made to ensure a proper transition to the wild. Conservationists at WCS should be engaged in wildlife replenishment as they do in wildlife enrichment. The animals should be allowed to roam in their natural habitats for extended periods of time or reintegrated into the wild once their conservational needs are met.

3) The gorillas seemed content. But these animals also must be interchanged and WCS should globalize its operations better (work with NGO's, African nations and other governments) to ensure the interchangeability of its wildlife exhibits.

I hope this is taking place. As a former museum professional, I have a deep understanding of curatorship and conservation. I have also been involved in conservation efforts and know its significance but strongly endorse replenishment and reintegration as part of wildlife conservation. Every effort should be made to ensure that this is taking place. Extinction should be redefined and a metaphysical perspective should be considered. When wildlife cannot fulfill material obligations as defined by their material makeup, then conservation can often be antithetical. We need to interchange and reintegrate wildlife at the Bronx Zoo to ensure a worthwhile experience for visitors, more content, safe, and protected wildlife and a more conservational and metaphysical-friendly environment. If this is overlooked, then conservation is falling severely short. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink holds true more than ever when material
obligations are considered. I encourage you to read some of my work in this area ( and perhaps redefine the conservation work taking place at the Bronx Zoo and its counterparts. An animal is nocturnal or a squirrel burrows and forages and can do nothing else but fulfill a highly defined set of material obligations that are inextricable to its being (what it is) and its willfulness to do otherwise is undermined whereas a human being, as part of a material coexistence can engage in right and wrong behaviors. When the element of time is removed, we realize that only the mover persists and matter seems to be a mere remnant of a material existence that is highly separable from a less palpable, transitory or temporal existence that inspires us to understand the supernatural better that may hold even more greater material and supernatural promises.

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