I don’t often indulge in silly news stories but a headline about a young Polar bear that underwent dental surgery in Winnipeg caught my eye. We should be responsible for what we keep in captivity but possibly the dental problem is a result of children throwing cookies instead of seal.
It all sounded fairly serious; root canal, extractions, anesthetic and X-rays. The Americans must think that health care is free even for Polar Bears in Canada. I’m sure the Assiniboine Park Zoo is covering the expense but I couldn’t help wondering about the children who can’t afford to go to the zoo. There must be one or two who also find it difficult to chew.
I Googled how much it would cost to perform a root canal on a Polar bear but was unsuccessful. The point is probably mute as dental care is included in the admission price.
I like Polar bears. They have been twisted into tobogganing cartoons in my head as well. My coca cola cranium finds them quite affable. Maybe that is why I feel I must come to their defence. It is not fun to have walls or wire instead of horizons. It is not fun to pace the same steps or find boredom in each of your senses. It is a measure of punishment to deny someone that which would make it thrive. There is no freedom if the choice is yours how far in a direction I can travel. Punishment is a term we use to illustrate the moral grounds we base our denial of freedom on.
It is nice to see animals but when they are in cages or concrete is their footing, it slips from a pleasant pastime to active participation in their punishment. To find amusement in witnessing this is not sinister but it might be a little stupid. If we can turn them into Teddy Bears in our minds we should be able to consider their majesty is intertwined with their wildness; their freedom. An Orca whale’s fin does not flop because it is thriving. You can give me a comfy couch or feed me bamboo from China but if I can’t leave the room, they are tasteless and hard.
Sorry to spoil the fun but I know a little what it is like minus the peanuts. If we want to be compassionate to Polar bears or any other animal it would be more effective to contribute to their true habitat and refrain from polluting it. Outside of that perspective, I’m sure there’s some twisted toothed youngster in Winnipeg who could use some dental assistance. If the Polar bear is majestic enough to grace our two dollar coin I don’t think they would be insulted if a few made it into caring for a child.
Am I the only one who can see the word asinine in Assiniboine Park Zoo?