Video Montage of Wild Animals in Captivity set to African Drums
When we first gaze at a captive animal, what do we see? What do we feel?
At first, it is a rush of excitement—something new, something beautiful, something intimidating, and perhaps even shocking. But, if we allow ourselves to gaze more deliberately at the creature before us, then we can see something more, something profound, touching, and, if we take it further, something disturbing.
Maybe animals are confined to protect them from poachers or to nurse them back to good health, or maybe they stand in concrete
pools for our amusement, or they are there to be researched and better understood. Sometimes captivity serves a noble purpose and
the people who care for these animals love them dearly, and other times they are victims of harsh exploitation and mankind’s most
petty instincts. But, the reason for their imprisonment is distinct from the universal incompleteness they feel as captives.
In Life Behind Barswe are called upon to give animals our time and attention so that we may see and feel the emotions that only a captive species knows. And, we are challenged to carry those emotions with us into the world in hopes that we may enlighten other humans as to what it means to be a wild animal bound by concrete walls and metal fences.
Dreams in Their Eyes - "Life Behind Bars" Forward By Benjamin Monarch - Wildlife and Public Lands Attorney