Raising Questions Regarding “Creatures in Crossroads”

Elizabeth Connelly ’25

News Editor

Last Friday, I had the unique opportunity to attend  “Creatures in Croads.” If this name raises questions for you, you are most certainly not alone. Here’s what I can tell you about my experience. “Creatures in Croads”  was held in the middle of Crossroads and/or 1843 grill. Three handlers from the organization Animal Adventures gave informative show and tells with various animals. They introduced each animal, gave us their name, and shared a few facts.  The grand finale of the night was a red kangaroo named Tabitha that was released into a circle of kids over by the Pub. My personal favorite part of the night was the main handler telling us all that he was about to let the kangaroo loose and it was “up to us” to make sure it didn’t escape. I’m still really not sure if he was kidding. Thankfully Tabitha the kangaroo remained inside the circle so we didn’t have to find out. 

Though this event was fun and hilarious at times it presented a few ethical qualms. I wanted to explore the idea of a traveling animal exhibition and how it affects the animals on display. To do so, I looked further into the organization that brought the animals and the work that they do. I found out that the animals came from Animal Adventures, an exotic animal rescue center based in Bolton Massachusetts. Their main mission is to “provide a home to unwanted and unable to be cared for animals, while educating the public about the animals.” They house what are called “surrendered animals” meaning animals that are unable to be otherwise cared for.

One aspect of their mission that I found particularly interesting was their focus on public education about the animals they rescue. The aspect of education sparks their “traveling programs”  in which the animals travel to different universities and schools. I really do admire their dedication to education as well as their work to care for animals that may not otherwise have a safe home.

I do however raise the question of whether or not the animals are best served traveling from school to school to be placed in unfamiliar environments. I took a look at the list of “most frequently traveled” which listed colleges as far away as Maryland and New Hampshire. I do not mean to imply that there is anything outrageously “unsafe” about the program or environment that I saw on Friday. But are these animals being cared for to the fullest extent by traveling multiple hours in enclosed spaces to be brought into an unfamiliar, crowded, loud environment to be poked and prodded? Might there be a better way to educate the public about the animals that they rescue? For example, having us come visit the animals in an environment that best suits their needs instead of the other way around seems preferable. I don’t mean to discredit Animal Adventures or the work that they do. However, I do think that it is important to raise questions with any program in which animals are presented as entertainment, no matter how pure the intention behind it may be.

Categories: Opinions

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