I went to the Maahshfield Fair to check out the last little bit of the Music Festival. Great music, really friendly down to earth musicians and great people watching. I wandered off for a bit between bands and didn’t get very far before stumbling upon a very large cage and an even larger crowd. I’m sold, I have to see what is going on over there. I find an extremely large cat, not unlike the one that wakes me up every morning, only bigger. Next are two very excited puppies, begging for belly rubs and all. Last, out comes a very excited Ben……….. not me, but a large black bear named Ben.
I came back once the crowd was gone and spoke to the woman who had been giving the show. She had been trying to educate the crowd on the animals during her show, and after, allowed people to come through where they were kept and get a closer look. I was curious to know where these beautiful animals had come from? Had they been ripped from the wilderness and sold to the fair?! From the affection she had when handling the animals, I thought not.
I learned that the mountain loins had been born in a zoo that just couldn’t house them. The wolves were found during the aftermath of Katrina by a kennel that didn’t even realize they were wolves. Ben’s mother was shot after a woman made a habit of feeding them and then decided to stop. The bears didn’t seem to think her door was much of an obstacle to get to their meal. These animals are the outcasts. Not able to live in the wild, not so exotic that they get some big fancy glass enclosure at the local zoo, and simply just too much to handle for most average animal rescues. I don’t love the fact that they had to stay in less than ideal cages while on the road, but I’m sure that they have a little more breathing room on their 400 acre ranch in upstate NY. I wish we lived in an ideal world we these animals could run free in the wild, but the reality is, they were too used to humans and when big animals get close to humans they get shot.
I’ve just been thinking about this a lot the fast few weeks and it has left me torn. The animal lover in me feels such empathy for these animals that are so majestic, deserving nothing less than a wild alpine sunset from a mountain top at the end of long day hunting things.
The realist in me see a whole bunch of people who would never have been exposed to or likely even learned much about these animals. If the next generation of up an comings gets to see how truly amazing and powerful these animals are and that they deserve land and space and preservation, from us, hopefully some of it will stick.
Judgements aside, I at least know they are loved.
I know less about the birds, and secretly wanted to untie them all.
These are from the music festival and the fair. Great music and interesting people.
How much do I want to be this guys friend!!