Releasing animals in the wild

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Releasing animals in the wild

Postby pink_trike » Sat May 09, 2009 6:27 am

This is a timely article originally published in AsiaOne - 07 May, 2009

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'Freed' animals face death...

Releasing animals into the nature reserves and reservoirs is a well-meaning act, but it may have adverse effects on the ecological balance in our nature reserves and parks, as well as the water quality of our reservoirs.

As Vesak Day approaches, the National Parks Board (NParks) and PUB, the national water agency, has issued a statement reminding the public not to release animals into nature reserves and reservoirs.

Ms Sharon Chan, Assistant Director at NParks, explains, "Most people do not realise that releasing animals means sending them to their deaths. One recent incident I encountered was the release of a few soft-shell terrapins. They were not equipped to survive in the wild, and died on that very day.

Should these animals harbour viruses, they will contaminate the water and affect other native wildlife. We want to appeal to everyone to refrain from releasing your pets or animals into the wild."

Mr Chan Chow Teing, PUB's Senior Deputy Director of Catchment and Waterways, adds, "As the fishes and animals may not be able to survive on their own, releasing them not only affects the ecosystem but also the reservoirs' water quality.

Although treating the water for drinking water supply is not an issue, it is important to keep the waters clean for aesthetic and recreational reasons, so that everyone can continue to enjoy activities at our reservoirs and parks."

Ms Angie Monksfield, President of Buddhist Fellowship, further clarifies the link between Buddhism and kindness towards animals, "Being kind to animals is one of the core practices in Buddhism. However, freeing animals into the wild, especially those that have been bred in captivity, is not necessarily a kind act as these animals would be easy prey for predators.

In some cases, they end up disrupting the ecosystem, thus affecting native animals in their habitat and in turn being cruel to the existing animals in the wild. Buying trapped animals to free them will also encourage the trade, causing more animals to be trapped. Instead, kindness towards animals can be achieved by reducing or eradicating the consumption of all kinds of meat, adopting and caring for animals from shelters, helping injured animals and preserving their natural habitats."

To remind the public not to release animals, members of Buddhist Fellowship, school students and volunteers from all walks of life will be distributing brochures and putting up posters at MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Lower and Upper Peirce Reservoir during the last two weekends of May.

In addition, the students of Raffles Girls' School will be designing educational posters and putting them up at MacRitchie Reservoir Park's bandstand.

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Wondering what your thoughts are...

Pink
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Releasing animals in the wild

Postby LuzdelaLuna » Sat May 09, 2009 11:56 am

I just wanted to pop in and add a post to your thread.

Here on Long Island, there was a case of a family that had bought bunnies as pets for Easter. Well, they did what bunnies do and they ended up with hoards of them. The father was caught releasing them into the local parks. He was fined.

The ASPCA went on the local news and explained how all these bunnies face a sure and ugly death by predators. There is nothing kind about release tame pets into the wild.

Thanks for bringing this up pink_trike.

:namaste:
If you can't find the truth right in front of you, where do you expect to find it? - Dogen

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Re: Releasing animals in the wild

Postby Ben » Sat May 09, 2009 12:19 pm

Hi Pink

I think its a good and compassionate call.

pink_trike wrote:Instead, kindness towards animals can be achieved by reducing or eradicating the consumption of all kinds of meat, adopting and caring for animals from shelters, helping injured animals and preserving their natural habitats."


Its one of the reasons my family and I have adopted retired greyhounds, animals that would face a certain death if they did not find a post-racing career home.
Kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Releasing animals in the wild

Postby Fede » Sat May 09, 2009 3:10 pm

Amazing to think that even though we are supposed to be at the top of the food chain, and the most intelligent animal on the planet, we somehow succeed in perennially cocking things up in spectacular fashion.... :roll:
You'd think we'd have got it by now..... :rolleye:

Good call p_t.....

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"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

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Re: Releasing animals in the wild

Postby Ben » Sat May 09, 2009 8:51 pm

Hi Fede,
Ever heard of The Darwin Awards??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_awards

There is no nadir of human stupidity!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Releasing animals in the wild

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sun May 10, 2009 12:30 am

:soap: I'll tell you my part of this story. I keep, as pets, some tiny creatures called Dwarf African Frogs. They're small, funny and seemingly easy pets who live their entire lives underwater. However, due to a word-wide epidemic of a fungus called Chytrid, many of these little fellows are doomed to die within three months--or less--of arriving at a pet store.

So what has been happening is that people buy three or four of these and a couple of them die. They find out at the pet store treatment to save this one remaining, four-dollar frog may run into 30 dollars or more, so they dump the aquarium in the local pond or lake, spreading this fungus--which is fatal to ALL reptiles and amphibians--all over the world. In the past few years, it's literally devastated entire species of amphibians. Zoos now keep newly acquired reptiles in quarantine until sure they're not infected. Pet shops--well, they're out to make a sell, and frogs sell for 4 bucks, so if one dies who's going to bring it back? They usually flush it (also spreading this fungus and other nasty diseases into the local water supply) and write it off.

I have a great love for these tiny little scraps of life and have kept them as pets for years. How could you not love that face? Image My frogs came down with this fungus recently, and almost died. I watched them get sicker and sicker and didn't know what to as there was no effective treatment for them. However, I found a treatment recently discovered by a reptile expert (an over the counter athlete's foot spray, believe it or not) and saved them, just barely. This entailed quarantining them, sterilizing their tank(and if you've ever had to "cycle" an aquarium you know what a pain it is to restart an aquarium) and treat each frog daily with athlete's foot spray for 10 days. The spectacle of me trying to spray a swimming frog with a pump spray is a sight I could put on Youtube and get a million hits.

They recovered and are back in their tank. They are weak and not eating well, but their color is good and may pull through yet.

Bottom line: For decades people have been dumping their aquariums into ponds and lakes, along with assorted plantlife, bacteria, fungi, and wildlife. Pet stores should be required to provide information about the responsibility of maintaining an aquarium, but of course if they did, they would lose all the impulse-buy. It takes a full month to cycle an aquarium to make it habitable for aquatic life, and who wants to wait that long to see pretty fishies (or froggies) swim about?

The proper way to dispose of a dead aquatic pet is to pour bleach on it (and this is hard to do if you've formed affection for it, but in the long run it's better for the ecosystem) let it soak for a few minutes while you wish your late friend a more fortunate rebirth, then bury him somewhere. Flushing is not recommended. :toilet:

That's all I have to say about that. :anjali:

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
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Re: Releasing animals in the wild

Postby notself » Mon May 11, 2009 4:01 am

If one wishes to release animals, I suggest they go to their local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and volunteer to transport animals for release. This can be a simple as picking up some songbirds and taking them back to where they were found. Most animals have territiories and need to be returned where they will know the location of water and food.

Here is a list of American Centers

http://www.southeasternoutdoors.com/wil ... ry-us.html
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103
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