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动物放归野外:重获自由面临的种种挑战

更新时间:2019/2/19 15:19:19 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Can captive animals ever truly return to the wild?
动物放归野外:重获自由面临的种种挑战

For some species, the road to release is a long one.

对一些动物来说,回归自然长路漫漫。

In many ways, humans have vastly improved how we treat captive wildlife. Once Romans routinely tortured and slaughtered lions, leopards, rhinos and even elephants in the Colosseum and bear-baiting was commonplace across Europe until the 19th century.

人类对待捕获的野生动物,在很多方面都已经极大改善了。曾几何时,罗马人在斗兽场里折磨和屠杀狮子、豹子、犀牛甚至大象都是司空见惯的事。直到19世纪,斗熊活动在整个欧洲都还很普遍。

Today, with circus animals increasingly becoming a thing of the past (especially now the British government has banned them entirely), what happens too all those newly-freed animals that spent their lives in zoos and circuses or as pets? Can any animal, after years in captivity, ever be freed?

如今,马戏团动物已渐渐成为历史(英国政府已经全面禁止),但那些曾生活在动物园、马戏团,或是被当成宠物的动物,刚刚获得自由后又会怎样呢?那些被圈养多年的动物,真的能够重获自由吗?

Even a lifetime in the most humane zoo will have left animals too affected by years of sheltered existence. Captive animals seldom learn crucial survival skills and often are too habituated to human contact. Lacking a natural fear of humans, they are vulnerable to poachers and ill equipped for life in the wild.

即使一辈子都生活在最人道的动物园里,动物也会因多年的圈养而受到严重影响。它们学不到关键的生存技能,太习惯于与人接触,缺乏对人类先天的恐惧感,极容易受到偷猎者的攻击,也无法适应野外的生存条件。

No case makes this more heartbreakingly obvious than the story of Keiko, the orca star of Free Willy (1993). A massive letter-writing campaign demanding his freedom led to Keiko being flown to Iceland in 1999 for release. Unfortunately, Keiko was ill-equipped for survival in the wild. Captured at a very young age and too accustomed to human contact, several attempts to help him join a wild pod failed. In the end, Keiko swam into a harbor in Norway, actively seeking the company of humans. He never managed to integrate with a wild population, struggled to hunt, and eventually died of pneumonia in 2002.

电影《人鱼的童话》(Free Willy,1993年上映)中虎鲸明星Keiko的故事尤其令人心碎。大量民众写信要求将Keiko放生,于是他在1999年被空运至冰岛。但可惜,Keiko无法适应野外恶劣的生存条件。他在很小的时候就被捕获,习惯了与人接触,人们几次试图帮助他加入野生族群都以失败告终。最后,Keiko游进了挪威的一个港口,主动寻找人类的陪伴。他没办法融入野生虎鲸,也无法自己捕食猎物,最终在2002年死于肺炎。

“Release to the wild is not automatically in the best interests of the animal,” says Dr Chris Draper head of animal welfare and captivity at Born Free – a charity that campaigns to keep animals in the wild. “The damage was done when that animal was brought in from the wild in the first place; it is dangerous to assume can could be released without just adding to the misery.”

“放归自然并不一定是对动物最有益的做法,”德雷珀博士(Dr Chris Draper)说。他是生来自由组织(一个主张让动物生活在野外的慈善机构)动物福利和动物捕获部门的负责人。“动物被带离野外时就已经遭受了伤害,将它们放归自然可能会雪上加霜。”

For fish, reptiles, and amphibians, reintroduction can be fairly straightforward: frogs for example can often be bred in huge numbers in the lab and released to the wild. But with complex mammals such as primates, large cats, elephants, dolphins and whales, who may require years of instruction from their mothers, and an entire group of other members of their species in which they can thrive as adults, reintroduction is far more difficult.

对于鱼类、爬行动物和两栖动物来说,野外放生相对简单。例如,青蛙通常可以在实验室中大量繁殖后放归野外。但灵长类动物、大型猫科动物、大象、海豚和鲸鱼等复杂哺乳动物可能需要母亲多年的教导,以及与同类群体生活才能长到成年,放生它们要困难得多。

“For the longest time, the idea of returning animals such as large mammals to the wild was just off the table, but now we’re seeing people in the field questioning the long-held belief that it’s impossible to return captive animals to their natural habitat,” says Katie Moore, deputy vice president of conservation and animal welfare for NGO the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “Yes, in a lot of cases it is still impossible, especially if the animals have been traumatised or were very young when captured. And you need to be very careful about introducing diseases to a wild population. But for some animals, if we proceed scientifically and thoughtfully, it can be done.”

摩尔(Katie Moore)是非政府组织国际爱护动物基金会保育和动物福利部门的副主席。她表示:“很长一段时间以来,将动物,譬如大型哺乳动物放生野外的议题都被遗弃了,人们认为让捕获的动物重返自然是不现实的,但现在我们看到有越来越多的业内人士开始质疑这种想法。野外放生确实在很多情况下仍然不可能,动物受到了创伤,或者在非常年幼就被捕获时尤为如此。我们还要特别小心不要把疾病传播给野生动物。但对于某些动物来说,如果我们经过深思熟虑后采取科学的方法,让它们重归自然是可以做到的。”

Consider the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) in Zimbabwe, which for 15 years has worked to introduce lions to the wild. “Yes, lions can become habituated to humans, but we make sure the ones we released are not habituated,” says Dr Norman Monks, CEO of ALERT.

以津巴布韦的非洲狮为例,“环境研究信托”15年来一直在努力将狮子放生回野外,首席执行官蒙克斯博士(Dr Norman Monks)说:“狮子确实可以适应人类,但我们要确保所放生的狮子没被驯化。”

Their method of release involves multiple stages, which eventually sees the release of wild offspring from previously captive adults. First, lions that have been habituated to humans are released into a large enclosure with prey species to hunt. Next, those animals (which are never handled by humans again) eventually form a pride and produce new cubs. Then those cubs, who have grown together and formed social bonds, are eventually released as a pride.

放生过程分为多个阶段,最终是将这些曾被圈养的狮子在野外所生的幼崽放归自然。首先,已经习惯了人类的狮子会被放到一个大围场,有猎物可以捕猎。接下来,这些(人类再也不会插手的)狮子最终会形成一个狮群并生出新的幼崽。这些幼崽会一起长大,形成社会关系,最终以狮群为单位被放归自然。

“This is important, as we would not want to put these cubs into the wild if they were not a cohesive pride that would care for each other.” Because lions are highly social animals (and the only social species of cat), and their innate need to live within a pride needs to be taken into account when preparing them for release to the wild.

“这一过程很重要,如果这些幼崽没有互相关爱的凝聚力,我们不会把它们放到野外。”因为狮子是高度群居的动物(也是唯一会社交的猫科动物),在准备将它们放归野外时,需要考虑它们对群体生活与生俱来的需求。

Many other groups are challenging old notions and working to develop new techniques tailored to the needs to different species to achieve what was once thought impossible, such as the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Trust, Wildlife Vets International, and Born Free.

许多组织都在挑战旧观念,并致力于开发适应不同物种需求的新技术,以实现一度被认为不可能实现的目标,其中包括黑猩猩康复信托、野生动物兽医国际组织和生而自由。

Wild release is easier for some animals than others, and the needs of individual species need to be carefully taken into account.

回归野外对某些动物来说要更困难,我们需要仔细考虑每个物种的需要。

“One species that would be incredibly problematic is polar bears. They live in a highly specialised environment, and need to learn the skills to survive in that environment from their mothers. Learning those skills in a pre-release context would be next to impossible,” says Dr Draper. “But other kinds of bears seem to be reasonably successful when released back to the wild. But it depends so much on the individual animal: the age it was captured, whether it was bred in captivity, its experiences in captivity, any kinds of trauma, health, early nutrition. There is just no magic recipe.”

德雷珀博士说:“北极熊这个物种的问题非常严峻。它们的生存环境十分特别,需要向母亲学习在这种环境中生存的技能,在没有回到自然之前学习这些技能几乎是不可能的。但其他熊类重回野外后似乎比较成功,但很大程度上也取决于每个动物的自身情况,比如说被捕获时的年龄,初生阶段是否在圈养环境下长大,以及被圈养的经历,包括创伤、健康状况和早期营养摄入。并没有什么灵丹妙药。”

For many species, just as with lions, often the key is to release animals in groups. “Even chimpanzees that have lived in laboratories for many years can do pretty well when released in groups onto protected islands,” says Dr Draper.

许多物种都和狮子一样,关键是要将它们成群放生。德雷珀说:“黑猩猩即使是在实验室里生活多年,当一起被放生到受保护的岛屿上时,情况也很好。”

Since 2006, conservationists at Orangutan Rescue in Indonesia have taken in orangutan infants who often have been kept as pets after their mothers were shot by famers for raiding crops. In the wild, an orangutan would spend up to nine years with its mother; an extraordinarily long time, even for a primate. This means orphaned orangutans require an exceptional amount of nurturing and education. Infants will spend anywhere from five to ten years at the centre being taught key survival skills such as how to climb trees, crack coconuts, fish for termites, and also that they need to fear threats such as spiders, snakes – and humans.

自2006年以来,印尼猩猩救援组织的保育人士收养了许多猩猩宝宝,猩猩妈妈多因践踏庄稼而被农民射杀,它们则被当作宠物饲养。在野外,猩猩宝宝会和母亲一起生活长达9年,这对灵长类动物而言也是非常长的时间,这意味着猩猩孤儿需要额外多的养育和教育。猩猩宝宝会在该组织生活5到10年时间,学习关键的生存技能,比如爬树、开椰子、抓白蚁,以及学会害怕蜘蛛、蛇和人类等各种威胁。

“We try to be hands-off as much as possible. We try not to let them get attached to us, because we need them to learn not to trust people,” says Karmele Llano Sanchez, program director of Orangutan Rescue at International Animal Rescue. “The key is that they learn more from each other than they do from us: one animal will learn a skill very quickly, and then go on to teach others. This is how they can re-learn how to be orangutans again. It takes many years and a lot of effort, but it has been surprisingly successful – I didn’t think the release program would go as well as it is. Even wild orangutans that have been brought to us after forest fires with injuries, or who have gone through starvation, can be brought back into good health and returned to the wild.”

“我们尽量不插手,尽量不让它们依赖我们,因为它们需要学会不相信人类,”国际动物救援组织猩猩救援项目的主任桑切斯(Karmele Llano Sanchez)说。“它们该从彼此身上学到更多东西,而不是从我们身上,这一点很关键。动物能很快学会一项技能,然后继续教给其他动物。这样它们才能学会如何重新成为一只猩猩。这需要多年的时间和大量的努力,但已经相当成功,我都没想到项目会这么顺利。即使野生猩猩在森林大火中受了伤,或是经历过饥饿,也可以恢复健康,重回野外。”

Rehabilitating an orangutan doesn’t come cheap: with the costs of animal care at $250 a month, it may cost $5,000 or $10,000 to eventually release an animal, and their operations are always limited by funds.

放生一只猩猩花费可不少。每月的护理费用为250美元,最终可能要花5000甚至10000美元,放生总是受到资金限制。

There however is an upside to the high costs that come with caring for orangutans. “Yes the costs are high, but the money goes mostly to paying guides and trackers that follow them in the wild once we release them – we employ a lot of people,” says Sanchez. “This way we can get the buy-in of the community. It is ultimately an excellent way to provide an alternative income to hunting or logging.”

然而,关爱猩猩带来的高额成本也有好的一面。桑切斯表示:“成本确实很高,但钱主要用于支付向导和追踪人员,追踪人员在野外追踪猩猩。我们雇佣了很多人,这样就能得到社区的支持,归根结底是为当地人在狩猎和伐木之外提供了另一种绝佳的收入方式。”

This points to one of the biggest challenges with reintroduction: finding suitable habitats in a world where hunting, logging, poaching and agriculture are erasing the wild places of the world.

这又引出了放生过程中的另一项重大挑战。当今世界,狩猎、伐木、偷猎和农业正使得野生环境越来越少,为动物们找到合适的栖息地成了一大难题。

“Demand for palm oil is growing, and so the problem of orphaned orangutans is only going to get worse because Malaysians are producing palm oil for the rest of the world,” says Sanchez.

桑切斯说:“人们对棕榈油的需求正在增长,马来西亚的棕榈油正出口到世界各地,因此猩猩孤儿的问题只会愈演愈烈。”

“The dream is to never say never, but the reality of the world we live in means that even if the animal is physically capable of doing this, finding suitable release sites is extremely challenging,” says Dr Draper. “But we have to try. Yes, it is time consuming and it is expensive, but if it is possible, we have to try, simply because is the right thing to do.”

德雷珀博士说:“我们的理想是永不言败,但现实告诉我们,即使动物有能力重回野外,找到合适的放生地也极为困难,但我们必须尝试。这确实很费时耗财,但如果有成功的可能,我们就必须尝试,原因很简单,这是我们应该做的。”

For some animals, reintroduction will always be difficult, such as baby elephants, or pet cheetahs, both of which habituate to human care very quickly, says Moore of IFAW. But we’ve only just started to challenge old ideas about reintroduction, and we have much to learn.

国际爱护动物基金会的摩尔表示,某些动物回归野外的过程会一直很难,比如小象,或者宠物猎豹,这两种动物都很快适应了人类的照料,但我们才刚刚开始挑战关于放生的旧观念,还有很多东西要学。

“If we don’t push boundaries we will never know what is possible,” she says.

“如果不突破极限,就永远不知道有多少可能性,”她说。

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