BOOKS: Captive wildlife debate
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1994:
Zoos and Animal Rights: The Ethics of
Keeping Animals, by Stephen St. C.
Bostock, Routledge (29 West 35th St., New York,
NY 10001), 1993. 227 pages, $15.95 paperback.
Orca: A Family Story, by Peter Hamilton,
Lifeforce (POB Box 825, North Hollywood, CA
91603), 1994. 40 pages, $17.99 paperback.
Stephen Bostock, education director for the
Glasgow Zoo, fervently believes most captive wild animals
are happy, healthy, and enjoying the best of all possible
worlds. Peter Hamilton, who has spent many years cham-
pioning unhappy, unhealthy captive wildlife, believes just
the opposite, citing as example the life of the orca Corky,
in an account fictionalized to provide a happy ending: her
release after 25 years to rejoin her pod. Both Bostock and
Hamilton support their positions with a wealth of factual
detail, but both become tedious in their onesidedness.
Hamilton is merely shrill; Bostock is at times absurd, as in
citing a painting as documentary evidence of the terror a
prey species suffers when attacked by a predator.