Damian Aspinall wants to phase out zoos over the next 20-30 years, even though he is the owner of one of the largest zoos in Great Britain.
Mr Aspinall stated that it is wrong to keep sentient creatures as lifelong “prisoners without parole” in these enclosures.
Around 80 percent of zoo animals aren’t endangered, and the 53-year-old believes that owners should spent their money on breeding endangered species for a return back into their natural habitat rather than on new enclosures.
Aspinall told The Daily Express, “We’ve played God once when we took animals out of the forest for zoos, so surely we can play God again and try to get some of these animals home.”
Aspinall stated that at his zoos, which includes Howletts and Port Lympne, both of which are in Kent, the “animals come first.”
The Aspinall Foundation, which has founded by his father, even recently returned nine gorillas to the jungle in The Gabon. Discussing their return he noted, “They just walked into the forest and started exploring.”
Aspinall went on to state, “If you’re a true conservationist and you truly believe in nature, the ultimate goal is you don’t need zoos. In the next 20-30 years, it would be a lovely goal to see zoos phased out or if they’re not, to see them truly doing what I believe is true conservation work. What I mean by that is that they only keep truly endangered animals. Zoos are stuck in a trap because they need to get the public in because otherwise they will go bust.”
He went on to add, “I absolutely feel sick in my stomach that zoos do animal shows. I come from a point of view where no animal should be here to entertain us. We’re supposed to be the intelligent species: surely we’re above having animals entertain our children.”
Mr Aspinall then concluded, “What we’re doing is culturalising our children to say it’s OK that man is the dominant species. It’s just wrong. We need to de-culturalise the public and phase zoos out.”
Do you agree with Mr Aspinall’s sentiments?