Mon, Jan 01, 2007 - Page 15 News List

Why the sore feet 足痛是何苦?

Shanthi, a 28 year old Asian elephant, asks for more apples from her handlers.
28歲的亞洲象香緹向管理員多要些蘋果。 (照片:法新社)

PHOTO: AFP

Animal rights groups say elephants are stuck in tight enclosures and stand for hours on concrete floors that cause arthritis or painful and often fatal foot infections.

The jumbo row mounted earlier this year after several elephants died in zoos across the US, some from complications of sore feet.

"The state of elephant health in the US is appallingly poor," said Elliott Katz, a veterinarian and president of California-based In Defense of Animals.

Katz reviewed records of 35 zoos between 2000 and 2005 and came away disgusted and convinced the facilities were killing the elephants.

"I am sickened by members of my own profession who know the (sick) elephants need to be on soft soil to have any chance of getting better and yet they never speak out," he said.

But the zoo industry rejects such charges saying that while much could be said about elephant care in years past, zoos have gradually upgraded facilities and the almost 300 elephants in state zoos today are doing quite well.

"You have one or two people who are not working with elephants everyday, making assertions that are not based on science," said Steve Feldman, spokesman for the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

"Every zoo is upgrading the standards for the animals," said Willie Theisson, head elephant keeper at the Pittsburgh Zoo, who has been on the job for 29 years and cares for six elephants.(AFP)

動物權團體指出,大象被關在緊密的圍欄,且在水泥地站好幾個小時,可能會引發關節炎或痛苦不堪和足以致命的足部感染。

前陣子大象風波愈演愈烈,全美動物園大象死亡事件頻傳,有些是足痛併發症引起。

獸醫師暨加州的捍衛動物組織會長艾略特.卡茲指出︰「美國大象的健康狀況慘不忍睹。」

卡茲在二○○○年至二○○五年評估了三十五家動物園,結果痛心不已,相信是動物園的設施殘害了大象。

他說︰「我厭倦那些同仁,他們明知患疾大象必須身處軟土才有機會復元,但卻隻字未提。」

不過動物園界駁斥這樣的指控說,過去幾年來雖然有許多對大象養護的批評,但動物園已逐漸改善設施,現今約三百隻公立動物園大象都相當安好。

Today's Words 今天單字

1. arthritis n.

關節炎 (guan1 jie2 yan2)

例: My grandmother's arthritis has been getting worse lately.

(我祖母的關節炎最近愈來愈嚴重。)

2. appallingly adv.

駭人地 (hai4 ren2 di5)

例: The conditions in the village were appallingly unsanitary.

(那個村落的衛生條件慘不忍睹。)

3. upgrade v.i. /v.t.

升級 (sheng1 ji2),改善 (gai3 shan4)

例: Have you upgraded to the newest version of your operating system?

(你已經把操作系統升級到最新版本嗎?)

4. assertion n.

主張 (zhu3 zhang1),斷言 (duan4 yan2)

例: Don't make assertions without facts to back them up.

(在沒有事實根據前勿妄自斷言。)


美國動物園水族館協會的發言人史帝夫.費德曼說︰「總會有一兩個並非天天與大象為伍的人,做出無科學根據的指控。」

匹茲堡動物園的大象管理員主任威爾.泰森說︰「每家動物園都在改善動物的生活品質。」他入行已有二十九年,目前照顧六隻大象。

(法新社/翻譯:賴美君)

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