Feeding horses to the big cats at the Wild Animal park? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 10-27-2010, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Feeding horses to the big cats at the Wild Animal park?

My family went on some sort of field trip today to the wild animal park today about an hour's drive from where we live. I had college classes, so obviously I didnt get to go
They just called to tell me about the time they had...And then proceeded to tell me they watched the last "big cat" feeding of the day. In which, in front of visitors including small children, the keepers throw a whole horse head to a waiting lionness. My 9 year old sister apparently watched the whole thing.
I guess the guy told my family that people donate "horses that probably were already gonna die" to the park, as feed. And then told them they shoot the horse in the forehead.
I find some inconsistences with that statement right there though:
1.) Obviously, you couldnt use a euthanasia drug on an animal u plan to use as feed for another.
2.) But if they shot the horse in the head, would there be a bullet (and LEAD) in the head, and therefore the cat eating it wuld be poisoned? Not to mention, a gunshot death would probably have a crater or gory look to the visitors who watch the feeding.
Quite frankly, even though I wasnt there to SEE it, just hearing about it I'm appalled. I cant even imagine donating a horse, THAT TRUSTED and worked for you all its life, to be EATEN by other animals. How twisted is that? I know they gotta eat somehow, and Im not even against butchering poultry myself (ah yes it is a mess but so worth the homegrown meat), but thats just wrong!
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post #2 of 56 Old 10-27-2010, 07:35 PM
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May I ask what country you're in?

May I also ask if you would let a cow or pig go to the animal park to be feed? Why them and not a horse? Some people are very attached to cows and pigs but we still slaughter them for our own digestion. How else would you feed these animals? They are wild, and I'm sure thrive on meat (much better then if we tried giving them "big cat chow" or something).

It's a little crazy to think about but seems more natural then about sending horses to auction so they can be sold to a slaughter house and turned into dog food and glue. That sounds terrible but...that's life I guess.

ETA: I'm questioning the fact they only put a head in? hmm...
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Last edited by Zeke; 10-27-2010 at 07:41 PM.
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post #3 of 56 Old 10-27-2010, 07:35 PM
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Google Bravo Packing, they were/are (not sure if they are still in operation or not) but I highly doubt they are the only plant in operation.

Horse slaughter is still legal, just not for consumption by humans.

http://www.graydapple.org/page15/page15.html-more on bravo packing.

Anyway, idk about them tossing out an entire horse head, that would seem a bit much for public viewing, especially with children watching. I do know that some zoos will have fake carcases they stuff with horsemeat.

Some zoo's and animal parks are starting to shy away from this practice, but I'm pretty sure that horse meat more closely resembles the type of meat a big cat would eat in the wild and is therefore healthier (assuming the meat isn't tainted with chemicals ingested bu the horse while it was alive) and leaner as well.

I'm guessing you're in San Diego... I know our Zoo & wild animal park is open about what they are feeding their cats.

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Last edited by Ktibb; 10-27-2010 at 07:40 PM.
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post #4 of 56 Old 10-27-2010, 07:37 PM
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If you shoot a horse in the head they just have a tiny little hole where the bullet goes in. They probably find the bullet when they butcher the horse. Otherwise they might use a captive bolt type instrument.

Honestly I don't think it's a huge deal. I'll bet the zookeepers treat the horses very well before they shoot them and the big cats need to eat. They're obligate carnivores so need the meat.

If I were to send a horse to slaughter, honestly I'd rather it go to the nearest zoo and be used to feed animals there then go on the trailer ride w/strange horses to a slaughter plant in Mexico or Canada.

ETA - I don't think throwing the whole horse head is a bad idea. Especially in front of children. Why do you guys think we have an entire generation of food activists? Anti-hunters? Or people who don't realize that the beef in the store used to walk around mooing and eating perfectly happy? It might upset the children a little bit, but hopefully the parent's would explain the facts to them.

Last edited by MN Tigerstripes; 10-27-2010 at 07:39 PM.
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post #5 of 56 Old 10-27-2010, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes View Post
ETA - I don't think throwing the whole horse head is a bad idea. Especially in front of children. Why do you guys think we have an entire generation of food activists? Anti-hunters? Or people who don't realize that the beef in the store used to walk around mooing and eating perfectly happy? It might upset the children a little bit, but hopefully the parent's would explain the facts to them.
Very good point there. I was never sheltered from the facts of life, and grew up watching a lot of Loins and cheetas kill and eat a lot of Zebras and other 'cute' prey animals on the discovery channel and was taught that that was just the way it was, everything has to eat something!

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post #6 of 56 Old 10-27-2010, 08:23 PM
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At the zoo I worked at, we fed horse. Same at the one I was volunteering at. It looked like just a steak pretty much. It wasnt an obvious body part.
I think its a perfectly acceptable thing to do.
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post #7 of 56 Old 10-27-2010, 08:33 PM
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i mean...... ugh i know i couldnt do it...... at all...i could not watch them through a horse head in there i would probably puke and then cry...

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post #8 of 56 Old 10-27-2010, 10:32 PM
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It doesn't really bother me. There's a wild cat rescue not far from where I live, you can call them and they will come shoot your dying cow or horse in the head and take the body with them to feed the cats. Just another form of euthunasia. Besides a shot to the head is alot faster than chemicals stopping the heart. And once the animal is gone, it's only the physical body left. There's alot of big time horse lovers around here that have said theyd call the Cat place if there horse dies or needs to be put down.
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post #9 of 56 Old 10-30-2010, 11:58 AM
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An accurate bullet to the brain is the single most humane way to kill any animal - death is instant, no pain is felt, they're gone before they even know what happened to them. Most veterinarians will tell you it's more humane then euthanasia. My grandpa shot all of our horses when the day came they were too old to go on.

It makes zero mess, all that's left is a bullet hole in the forehead. A bullet is NOT going to poison a big cat - they are carnivores, they are on the top of the food chain, and their bodies are designed to withstand an ENORMOUS amount of toxic metal because of how much they ingest by eating lesser animals. This is precisely the reason we don't eat carnivores, and must be careful with things like sharks - the amount of toxic metal like mercury in their system from ingesting every other type of fish can be fatal to us.

I see nothing wrong with it - it makes PERFECT sense. It is an absolutely perfect system of NOT wasting. It amazes me how clinchy humans get about death - like somehow dropping a body into the dirt to rot as a corpse is preferable over using the body for a purpose and progressing the circle of life in a perfect circle. Let me guess, you wouldn't donate your organs if you died because it's just WRONG to die with a purpose and ability to help others. Your organs are much more right rotting in the ground, being eaten by worms.

My grandpa grew up on a mink farm, where they purchased all the old used up farm horses, shot them and ground them up for food. Makes a lot more sense then dumping them in the ground! The horse doesn't know he's being eaten, I think it is a very fitting and useful death - he's humanely shot before he's so old he drops dead. What happens after that only matters to us, not the horse.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #10 of 56 Old 10-30-2010, 02:10 PM
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I agree with Makabre.
Not only that I agree but I also found out some more stuff. Very informative, thank you

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