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Forever wild Is it time to rethink our relationship with the animal world?

As the recent
incident at The Sea World, Orlando, US, showed, attempts to tame and connect with wild
nature on human terms don't always work and can have dangerous consequences.
In Happier times: Dawn Brancheau, The Sea World trainer with a killer whale before
tragedy stuck.

The Sea World USA Marine Park has 12 million visitors every year — people young and old
converge here to get a close view of exotic marine animals and watch their shows. A
particular favourite is the Shamu Whale Show featuring 6,000-pound Orcas or Killer Whales
performing to an enthralled audience.

On February 24, in what should have been a routine run of the famous Shamu Whale Show at
the Sea World, Orlando, thousands of families with children were spectators to a shocking
tragedy. The experienced trainer had just finished her show and was reaching out to pat the
whale, when it grabbed her by her ponytail and pulled her underwater. The audience watched
horrified as the killer whale thrashed around and finally drowned its trainer.

It is unclear what motivated the killer whale, Tilikum, to behave in this manner. The
predominant view of experts is that Tilikum was being playful and desired more social
contact. Tilikum is the largest whale in captivity and weighs in at 12,000 pounds. It has been
associated with two other deaths in the past 20 years.

Real dangers : The tragedy was a chilling reminder of the real dangers of working with wild
animals. Sea World has stated that it is reviewing its procedures and protocols. What seems
to be of dire urgency here is the need to put in place disaster recovery measures and
safeguards for precisely these kinds of situations.

The death at Sea World reopened the debate over wild animals in captivity. Many animal
rights groups see this attack as a result of keeping exotic animals such as tigers, orcas and
elephants in inappropriate domestic venues and are urging that they be put back in the wild
where they belong.

The zoos and aquariums, on the other hand, argue that not only do they provide a setting
where people encounter nature face to face, but also utilise the money collected for research
projects and work on saving endangered species. The entertainment factor that these shows
provide is offset by some successful training and enrichment programmes and research.

Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) India recently undertook a study of more
than 30 zoos in India. Their findings show neglect and animal suffering in quite a few
instances. Peta also reports that many of the cages are extremely small and there is an
inadequate supply of food, water and veterinary help. Animals were seen eating debris and
the cages lacked good hygiene. Predatory animals were kept within viewing distance of their
prey and elephants were chained in both front feet. In addition to this, visitors are seen
feeding animals and sometimes teasing them when the rules strictly prohibited them from
doing so.

Hundreds of people have been seriously injured killed by captive wild animals in zoos around
the world which is another argument against keeping animals in captivity.
Close encounters : In 2002, a 150-pound tiger was taken to a California elementary school
assembly as part of the “Zoo to You” programme. The tiger grabbed a six-year-old boy by
the head. The boy was rescued by the principal but had to receive 55 stitches to his head and
face. In that same year, an elephant at the Pittsburgh Zoo pinned a zookeeper to the ground,
and crushed him to death with its head. A while ago, a visitor at an Assam zoo was fatally
wounded by a tiger. Just last week, two separate zoo accidents were reported. A bear bit off a
woman's fingers at a Wisconsin zoo after she ignored barriers and warning signs to try to feed
the animal. In a zoo in Shanghai, an animal keeper succumbed to injuries after being bitten by
a tiger.

Many people are fascinated by the idea of owning an exotic wild pet, especially since baby
wild animals appear to be tameable. However, these animals have social and psychological
needs that are very difficult to meet in captivity. These creatures eventually grow up and
sometimes turn on their owners. The aggressive instincts of wild animals are never culled
even in a lifetime of captivity. Also, they pose health risks, as reptiles often carry salmonella
bacteria which can easily be transmitted to humans, putting young children especially at risk.

Wild animals also suffer psychologically when kept in isolation. Many owners who have
adopted wild animals sometimes realise that they are unable to meet the demands of the
animal. Some abandon them or try to put them back in the wild. These animals are unable to
adjust to the wild after living in captivity.

Animal trainers also lead a life of considerable risk as has been borne out by the recent
tragedy. Some other killer whale trainers have suffered bites and injuries. Interacting with
and training crocodiles is another occupation mired by risks. As part of a show in the
crocodile park in Langkawi, the trainer inserts his hand into the aggressive male crocodile's
open jaws. How can the trainer or park ensure that this bold (and very risky) endeavour is
successful 100 per cent of the time?

Pathetic conditions : Circuses have provided much entertainment to people around the world
for hundreds of years. Although these shows are popular, the wild animals that work in the
circus are taken away from their natural habitat and are required to travel long distances in
confined spaces such as small cages. This can be extremely uncomfortable for the animals
and many adopt behaviours such as pacing, self mutilation and aggression.

Public safety is also matter of concern. In Germany last December, a circus showman was
attacked and nearly killed during a Hamburg dinner performance. Just before the show, the
trainer stumbled and fell in front of five Bengal Tigers. As 200 spectators watched, the tigers
attacked. Other trainers were able to lure the tigers away within seconds by following their
emergency plan, but he was left with severe head, chest and hand injuries. A similar accident
occurred six years ago in Las Vegas when tiger trainer Roy Horn of the “Siegfried and Roy”
duo was severely injured in an attack on-stage.

Training methods used for animals in entertainment have also come under criticism. The best
method of training animals to perform is through reward-based training, but this takes time
and patience, and some trainers resort to inhumane methods such as beating and using prods
to get their animals to perform. Animals are also drugged and their teeth and claws are
surgically removed.
Abusive treatment: Peta USA has released photos taken inside Ringling's Florida training
centre by a veteran elephant trainer. The photos expose how baby nursing elephants are
captured and dragged away from their mothers. They are then gouged with steel tipped
bullhooks and shocked with electric prods. These abusive sessions go on for up to a year until
the elephant is submissive enough to obey. A former elephant trainer has given congressional
testimony that the Clyde Beatty-Cole circus repeatedly violated USDA animal welfare
regulation. When an elephant did not perform he was laid down and beaten by five trainers
with bullhooks.

Such abusive treatment has caused elephants in circuses to sometimes go on rampages and
cause destruction, injuring and killing spectators. One such incident occurred in 1994, in
Honolulu, when an elephant named Tyke killed her trainer, then went on a rampage, injuring
onlookers and damaging property. Tyke eventually had to be shot by the police in full view
of the public. In the wake of similar elephant mishaps, Indian circuses face a crisis with
animal right activists asking for a ban on the performances of elephants. The Central Zoo
Authority of India is now considering to move all elephants from zoos and circuses to
wildlife parks and sanctuaries. It is currently working on a proposal for the ministry to ban
elephants from performing at circuses and also against chaining them in the zoo.

Humans have long dominated the animal kingdom and have found ways to manage and
control species far larger and more dangerous than ourselves. Yet, we have a responsibility to
giving our cohabiters their share of the earth, with a little help sometimes for their survival.
We must look for and tread the fine line of learning about the creatures of the wild while
leaving them alone to live in their beloved habitat.

Tragic encounter

Working with wild animals, whether free or captive, carries its risks and has sometimes led to
untimely death. A notable example of this is Steve Irwin, the reputed Australian crocodile
trainer. Irwin was out filming dangerous wild animals on the Australian barrier eef when a
stingray which was swimming directly below him pierced him in his chest with a barb, killing
him instantly.

Never totally free

The killer whale Keiko, who was the star of the Hollywood movie Free Willy, was eventually
released back into the waters of Iceland where he was originally captured. Despite efforts to
integrate him with wild killer whales in Iceland, he had to be cared for by humans even after
his release. He missed human interaction and never successfully integrated with his wild kin.
Keiko, died in December 2003, at about 26 years old, of acute pneumonia.


Salesmanship is a personal action or effort on the part of an individual which is intended to

bring about the sale of the goods for sale. More broadly speaking, salesmanship is the art of
selling something to somebody, and everything which contributes to the consummation of
this exchange is necessarily a part of salesmanship.
Salesmanship differs from demonstration in that the latter may not include the former, and it
is like demonstration because good salesmanship usually includes some form of
demonstration. Salesmanship is not unlike the plea of the lawyer before the court or the jury.
Both contain arguments; and, in both cases, the presenter, either of arguments or of goods or
of both, is attempting to make the party addressed do what he asks him to do.

On the one hand there is something for sale, whether it be a life insurance policy, an
automobile, a suit of clothes, or a barrel of potatoes. The owner of what is for sale, or his
representative, desires to sell what he has to somebody who wants it or can be made to want
it. To do this, he employs every method which will in any way influence the buyer, including
printed matter, e-mail, websites, pay-per-click advertising, television commercials, radio ads,
handsome office fittings, and, most important of all, a proper presentation of the thing for sale
adding personality and voice to the selling argument.

The salesman exists for two reasons: first, custom; secondly, because it is obvious that even
the best informed buyer cannot know everything, and the well- posted salesman is in a
position to give him information about the article for sale. There is opportunity for a
discussion person-to-person, and for the presentation of argument; and this information and
these arguments cannot be given with any degree of fullness by the printed page or
advertisement. Or, if they could be, they would not even then take the place of personal
information-giving and custom-made argument.

Salesmanship cannot be analyzed with chemical or other exactness. To define it, to separate it
into its component parts, would be as difficult as it would be to analyze ability and to tell
what it consists of. Yet we all know what salesmanship is, and we are able to measure the
results of its qualities and quantities.