CFACT Interns tour DC National Zoo, discuss species management

In July of 2015, international outrage was sparked when “Cecil” the lion was killed by a hunter in Africa. Celebrities shrieked against hunting, trophy hunting bans were considered across the world, and a website dedicated to the lion’s honor was even put up.

CFACT Interns and other zoo attendees watch as a Giant Panda has bamboo lunch.

But this outrage has done little to contribute to actual conservation efforts. Similarly, blanket ivory bans and laws restricting private property will do nothing but exacerbate species extinction.
It was these issues that CFACT’s summer interns discussed in Washington DC as they toured the National Zoo and saw many endangered species being cared for. The interns, Grayson Murray of Hillsdale College, Emily Lewis of Regent

A Golden Lion Tamarin, a small monkey, gazes at zoo visitors on his tree perch.

University, and Jack Knudson of the University of Minnesota considered the strategies employed by the staff in working with Asian elephants, Giant Pandas, crocodiles, as well as many types of monkeys, birds, large cats, and mammals.
“It was fun to visit the zoo with the interns and CFACT staff,” said Jack. “Part of the fun was being with Collegians Director Adam Houser who was able to catch all of these subtle environmental fallacies scattered about on informational cards or pamphlets from the zoo.”

Liberal elitism on display: POOP SAVES TREES! It’s a better alternative to cutting down trees in the forest for firewood.

One example of what Jack mentioned was an exhibit at the zoo where it declared “POOP SAVES TREES! A bio-gas stove uses animal droppings as a fuel source for cooking or heating homes. It’s a better alternative to cutting down trees in the forest for firewood.”
“Consider the audacity and the privilege exhibited here,” said Collegians Director Adam Houser. “Here are first world environmentalists telling the developing world to collect feces to cook with and heat their homes. How about we allow these countries to actually develop working electricity? I’d like to see any of these people in the developed world volunteering to collect their dog’s poop and use it to cook dinner later that night.”
The CFACT campus mission has been to inform young people of the shortcomings of the Left’s environmental policy. “We know what the effects of policies like these are and they only end up hurting the poor and vulnerable,” Jack explained further.

A Smithsonian exhibit proclaims: “75 elephants – about how many African elephants are killed each day.” “Zero – how many wild elephants will be left if we don’t end the demand for illegal ivory.”

Additionally, the Zoo touted the importance of banning the sale and trade of ivory in order to save elephants and rhinos. But banning ivory will only increase the value of the good on the black market and continue to drive poachers to obtain tusks. By allowing individuals and managed facilities to own animals and charge participants for observing them, hunting them, or harvesting the ivory safely, it creates an economic incentive to breed more of these animals and keep them alive.
This is what South Africa did until it gave into international pressure and put an ivory ban in place. As a result, poaching rose 9,000 percent from 2007 to 2014, according to the World Wildlife Fund.