top of page

Zoo Antics

Updated: Apr 30, 2022

Show Notes

“An antelope broke its neck.”

“A caretaker was injured by a tiger during feeding time.”

“The habitat did not seem to be big enough to house all animals.”

These are recent headlines from some of the most prestigious Zoos in the United States. It hit a nerve. I have avoided going to Zoos for many years. I do visit and support animal rescue facilities where abandoned, tortured, or retired animals find a soft place to land.

However, Zoos are, for the most part, torture for me. Because I can’t unsee and unfeel. Watching two elephants in an enclosure smaller than a soccer field, moving their heads left to right, trunks swaying. In horse terms, it would be called weaving, in human terms dissociation. The elephants' eyes glazed over, it was obvious that any good spirit had left years ago.

The proud Eagle stuck in an aviary the size of your living room. He was calm and sullen, unresponsive to my reaching out. I think I heard him “It just is ...”

And how about the tiger pacing behind bars. Rainer Maria Rilke described it so poignantly in his poem “The Panther”

In the Jardin des Plantes, Paris His gaze has been so worn by the procession Of bars that it no longer makes a bond. Around, a thousand bars seem to be flashing, And in their flashing show no world beyond.


Translated by Walter Arndt

And so I wonder, what are we thinking? What are we doing? And most importantly, are we feeling?

The public relations person of one famous Zoo expressed that she was at a loss. She explained, “We took great measures to make sure the animals were transitioned into their new habitat according to the regulations.” And “We provide ample space for our animals to provide them with the best care.”

But the reality is, thinking we’re doing the right thing does not make it right.

Because if we did it right, why would Orca kill her trainer? Why did the tiger attack, Siegfried? Or was it Roy? Because we ask tigers to be pussycats. Because we ask the biggest mammal in the world to perform the same routine over and over in a pool the size of a kitchen sink. And, because we cram flight animals like antelopes into small enclosures that are located a few hundred yards from lions that are frustrated and aggressive due to boredom.

I understand, the purpose of Zoos once was to bring the wild to the people when a picture wouldn’t suffice. With 3D movies, National Geographic, and adventure travel those arguments are outdated. Another marketable argument is that Zoos help animals close to extinction to survive. That seems so noble, except, why do we destroy their natural habitats and hunt them down so that they are near extinction? Why do we think that we can make a wrong right by bringing a few of those animals to the Zoo so they can survive?


When you can’t hunt, can’t run, can’t fly, can’t swim like you were born to do, you don’t survive, you hang in. You wait for food. You get irritated. You snap. And then you are the felon. And you might get killed, or banned.

Listen to the news, kindred spirits: the animals are telling us, it is time for us to take a closer look. Let’s look into their eyes, and, more importantly, through their eyes. When we do, we see the despair, feel the loneliness, and the defeat. And, we will understand their behavior and start working toward a more mindful approach. We will give them more space, more time, more companionship, and more exciting environments. Let’s get engaged from the heart.

NICOLE BIRKHOLZER is a relationship coach for animals + their humans. Nicole is the founder of Mindful Connections™ and the host of "Let's Have A Chat!" a podcast where she shares the secret of communicating with animals successfully. Nicole is pioneering a new approach to animal communication where horses + pets are honored as soul-companions + partners in our human search for happiness, fulfillment + wholeness.

Discover the timeless wisdom of animals — and the unbridled intuition in every human heart — at And connect with Nicole on Facebook + Twitter at @NBirkholzer.

Recent Posts

See All

#101 Left hanging out to dry

Hello, dear listeners! Thanks for tuning in as we celebrate our horses' body, mind, and spirit. I love connecting with horses and their people over the phone and taking road trips to meet them in pers


Our escorts are not only beautiful and sophisticated, but also intelligent and engaging. They are well-versed in the art of companionship and will ensure that your time together is everything you desire and more. Discretion is of the utmost importance to us, so you can trust that your privacy will always be respected.At Escort Chennai, Escorts in Chennai we are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of service and satisfaction. We believe that everyone deserves to enjoy the company of a stunning and attentive companion, and we are here to make that a reality for you. Contact us today to book your unforgettable experience.


Mastering Python programming opens up a world of opportunities in today's tech-driven era. Whether you're looking to enhance your career prospects, delve into the realms of data science, web development, or automation, python course in coimbatore Coimbatore offers a plethora of online and offline courses tailored to suit your learning needs. Python, known for its simplicity and versatility, has gained immense popularity among programmers of all levels. In Coimbatore, you can embark on your journey to master Python through various avenues, ranging from traditional classroom settings to virtual learning option is to enroll in offline courses offered by renowned institutions in Coimbatore. These courses provide hands-on training, allowing you to interact with instructors and peers face-to-face. Institutes like XYZ Institu…


Our software testing course covers a wide range of topics, including manual testing, automated testing, test management, defect tracking, and software testing course in coimbatore with placement more. You'll learn industry best practices, tools, and techniques from experienced professionals who are passionate about helping you succeed. Whether you're a beginner or have some experience in software testing, our program is tailored to meet your needs and level of of the key highlights of our course is the emphasis on practical, hands-on learning. We believe that real-world experience is essential for mastering software testing. That's why our curriculum includes numerous lab exercises, projects, and case studies that allow you to apply your knowledge in a simulated work environment. You'll have …


En todos los idiomas y culturas, las felicitaciones de cumpleaños tienen un significado único, ya que reflejan tradiciones, creencias y valores transmitidos de generación en generación. Ya sea apagar las velas de un pastel, saludos de feliz cumpleaños recibir bendiciones de los mayores o intercambiar obsequios simbólicos, estos rituales nos unen en un tapiz de experiencias compartidas, tejiendo una historia de amor, resiliencia y pertenencia.


Consider training programs that offer placement assistance or career support services. Institutes that have tie-ups with tech companies, organize job fairs, or offer internship opportunities can significantly boost your chances of landing full stack course in coimbatote a job after completing the program. Check the institute's placement record and alumni network to gauge the effectiveness of their career support services.Don't underestimate the power of peer reviews and testimonials. Reach out to current or former students of the training programs you're interested in to get insights into their experiences. Ask about the quality of teaching, course structure, project opportunities, and post-training support provided by the institute. Honest feedback from fellow students can help you make an informed decision.

bottom of page