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Pinioned birds at Animal Kingdom—UPDATED

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My partner and I aren’t fans of zoos (we feel sorry for the animals) but wanted to see Pandora, so we rope-dropped Animal Kingdom yesterday with the intention of bypassing all the live “exhibits” and doing the other attractions and shows. We were having a wonderful time (Flight of Passage was truly amazing), and then we made the mistake of taking a shortcut across Discovery Island, where we happened to catch sight of a vulture just sitting on the grass. We were confused as to why it wouldn’t fly away, and so we asked a cast member. She told us its wings were clipped to prevent flight, adding that it wouldn’t be able to survive if allowed to fly off. As I later found out through the wonders of Google, “clipped” is the euphemistic way of describing what they do to these birds, which is to remove parts of the wings entirely to make them permanently flightless (a procedure called pinioning). I suppose I can understand the justification in the case of endangered species that need to be kept and bred in captivity (which these vultures happened to be), but they do it also for birds that are far more numerous and really don’t need to be kept in zoos. All those flamingoes you see happily wading around? They can’t fly either.

While I realise that this is a zoo problem rather than an Animal Kingdom problem, I really wish Disney would stick to creatures of the animatronic variety rather than participate in these barbaric practices. I can’t see the magic in gawking at a hobbled bird.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
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I'm a little confused. Clipping wings, from what I understand is clipping feathers - like hair - in such a way that prohibits them from flying. Zoos and AK are known for helping animals that wouldn't otherwise survive on their own or helping keeping breeds from becoming extinct. If you do really have issues with AK as well as zoos, I do suggest you just keep away. I personally am pro animal but appreciate work zoos and such do.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm a little confused. Clipping wings, from what I understand is clipping feathers - like hair - in such a way that prohibits them from flying. Zoos and AK are known for helping animals that wouldn't otherwise survive on their own or helping keeping breeds from becoming extinct. If you do really have issues with AK as well as zoos, I do suggest you just keep away. I personally am pro animal but appreciate work zoos and such do.
The practice I’m referring to is pinioning: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinioning

And as I said, it’s done to bird species that are are quite numerous in the wild and that do not need to be kept or bred in captivity.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
The practice I’m referring to is pinioning: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinioning

And as I said, it’s done to bird species that are are quite numerous in the wild and that do not need to be kept or bred in captivity.
I am more than aware of the differences. However clipping to me is clipping. Pinioning is pinioning. There is no "euphemistic way" of describing clipping because they are not the same.

I do not know what Disney does as a practice. I'll say again, if you dislike zoos and conservation efforts I wouldn't go again so it wouldn't disturb you so much. No way you're going to get them to stop having live animals at the park though. If they do pinion then maybe you can find out if they can be more humane, but at the same time the little I know about pinioning it is done when an animal cannot survive in the wild and done as to not stress the bird more.
 

larryz

Can't 'Member Anything
Premium Member
My partner and I aren’t fans of zoos (we feel sorry for the animals) but wanted to see Pandora, so we rope-dropped Animal Kingdom yesterday with the intention of bypassing all the live “exhibits” and doing the other attractions and shows. We were having a wonderful time (Flight of Passage was truly amazing), and then we made the mistake of taking a shortcut across Discovery Island, where we happened to catch sight of a vulture just sitting on the grass. We were confused as to why it wouldn’t fly away, and so we asked a cast member. She told us its wings were clipped to prevent flight, adding that it wouldn’t be able to survive if allowed to fly off. As I later found out through the wonders of Google, “clipped” is the euphemistic way of describing what they do to these birds, which is to remove parts of the wings entirely to make them permanently flightless (a procedure called pinioning). I suppose I can understand the justification in the case of endangered species that need to be kept and bred in captivity (which these vultures happened to be), but they do it also for birds that are far more numerous and really don’t need to be kept in zoos. All those flamingoes you see happily wading around? They can’t fly either.

While I realise that this is a zoo problem rather than an Animal Kingdom problem, I really wish Disney would stick to creatures of the animatronic variety rather than participate in these barbaric practices. I can’t see the magic in gawking at a hobbled bird.
Maybe someone should make a movie about it and call it "Blackbird"...
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I am more than aware of the differences. However clipping to me is clipping. Pinioning is pinioning. There is no "euphemistic way" of describing clipping because they are not the same.

I do not know what Disney does as a practice. I'll say again, if you dislike zoos and conservation efforts I wouldn't go again so it wouldn't disturb you so much. No way you're going to get them to stop having live animals at the park though. If they do pinion then maybe you can find out if they can be more humane, but at the same time the little I know about pinioning it is done when an animal cannot survive in the wild and done as to not stress the bird more.
I repeat: they pinion birds that are in no way endangered. It has nothing to do with conservation. The birds in question include the saddle-billed stork; see the bottom of p. 8 of the following link: http://alouattasen.weebly.com/uploads/8/9/5/6/8956452/storksaddlebilledstudbook2013-9a4b16fa.pdf
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
The only mention of pinioning in the pdf you linked is quoted below.

It is notable that up until 2013 chicks have only been produced by
pairs with non-pinioned, fully-flighted males, both first and second
generation breeding. For the first time a successful hatch occurred from a
pinioned male at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in February of 2013. This
male, and his pinioned mate, had produced fertile eggs prior to this but no
successful hatches.


Nowhere does it state that AK does this to all or any of their birds or why or where it was done to this bird in the first place. For all we know, the birds were pinioned before AK ever got them.

If you have another source that shows AK makes a regular practice of pinioning their birds, I am all ears.
 

Mr Ferret 88

instagram mrferret888
Premium Member
The only mention of pinioning in the pdf you linked is quoted below.

It is notable that up until 2013 chicks have only been produced by
pairs with non-pinioned, fully-flighted males, both first and second
generation breeding. For the first time a successful hatch occurred from a
pinioned male at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in February of 2013. This
male, and his pinioned mate, had produced fertile eggs prior to this but no
successful hatches.


Nowhere does it state that AK does this to all or any of their birds or why or where it was done to this bird in the first place. For all we know, the birds were pinioned before AK ever got them.

If you have another source that shows AK makes a regular practice of pinioning their birds, I am all ears.
2aag0t.jpg
 

Nottamus

Well-Known Member
I am married to a zoo curator, animal lover, caring person....

I was never really an 'animal' guy until we met....and seeing the way she and her staff, and vets care for these animals at the zoo turned me into an animal guy. People see a bird in a cage and feel sorry for that bird. Its so crazy the amount of work, caring, and love that goes into caring for that bird day after day, year after year. And the tears shed when an animal passes, after living longer than it would in the wild...

but, by all means, lets continue to spay and neuter our pets, remove their claws etc.

So there, my opinion on zoos. (and AK)
 
I am married to a zoo curator, animal lover, caring person....

I was never really an 'animal' guy until we met....and seeing the way she and her staff, and vets care for these animals at the zoo turned me into an animal guy. People see a bird in a cage and feel sorry for that bird. Its so crazy the amount of work, caring, and love that goes into caring for that bird day after day, year after year. And the tears shed when an animal passes, after living longer than it would in the wild...

but, by all means, lets continue to spay and neuter our pets, remove their claws etc.

So there, my opinion on zoos. (and AK)
:) Excellent perspective, IMO!
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The only mention of pinioning in the pdf you linked is quoted below.

It is notable that up until 2013 chicks have only been produced by
pairs with non-pinioned, fully-flighted males, both first and second
generation breeding. For the first time a successful hatch occurred from a
pinioned male at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in February of 2013. This
male, and his pinioned mate, had produced fertile eggs prior to this but no
successful hatches.


Nowhere does it state that AK does this to all or any of their birds or why or where it was done to this bird in the first place. For all we know, the birds were pinioned before AK ever got them.

If you have another source that shows AK makes a regular practice of pinioning their birds, I am all ears.
This is a fair point. From what I could I find out about these particular birds (https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2013/03/wildlife-wednesdays-saddle-billed-stork-has-first-chick-white-cheeked-gibbon-expands-family-with-new-addition-at-disneys-animal-kingdom/), they have been at Animal Kingdom since 1998 and so may well have arrived already pinioned. For what’s it worth, I don’t think clipping a bird’s wings is much better; it’s still a disabling practice. It’s necessary in the case of existing captive populations not kept in enclosed aviaries, but these should just be allowed to die off unless they belong to endangered species.

I’m going to try to contact the people at Animal Kingdom to ask how exactly they keep their bird populations flightless, and I will update this thread when I hear back from them. As I said, I realise it’s a zoo problem rather than an AK problem; I just wish Disney had never got involved in this particular industry to begin with. There was a sad irony to watching the Nemo musical (specifically the scenes about escaping the fish tank) in a park full of needlessly captive animals.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I am married to a zoo curator, animal lover, caring person....

I was never really an 'animal' guy until we met....and seeing the way she and her staff, and vets care for these animals at the zoo turned me into an animal guy. People see a bird in a cage and feel sorry for that bird. Its so crazy the amount of work, caring, and love that goes into caring for that bird day after day, year after year. And the tears shed when an animal passes, after living longer than it would in the wild...

but, by all means, lets continue to spay and neuter our pets, remove their claws etc.

So there, my opinion on zoos. (and AK)
You’re suggesting I’m being a hypocrite, which I’m not. Our cats (both now dead unfortunately) were rescues, and neither was declawed. They were neutered, but only because we didn’t wish to add to the existing problem of unwanted animals. If I had my way, the pet industry wouldn’t exist—there are already so many stray and shelter animals in need of loving homes.

ETA: Longevity isn’t a measure of happiness.
 
Last edited:

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
I just wish Disney had never got involved in this particular industry to begin with.
I for one am glad they did as they have a number of successful breeding programs; a number of which involve endangered and threatened species. In addition, the awareness they raise with attendance numbers neary 5 times that of zoos like San Diego is incalculable.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I for one am glad they did as they have a number of successful breeding programs; a number of which involve endangered and threatened species. In addition, the awareness they raise with attendance numbers neary 5 times that of zoos like San Diego is incalculable.
Exhibiting animals that aren’t threatened or endangered is difficult to justify in my opinion. Awareness and conservation are important goals, but I think we’d be fooling ourselves if we believed that these are the motivating factors behind Animal Kingdom. Clearly I’m in the minority here, but I look forward to the day when zoos go the way of animal circuses.
 
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