CNN Anchor Says Zoos 'Feel Like a Stone Age Thing': They Had Zoos Then?

CNN anchor Erin Burnett ended her evening news show Upfront on Thursday night with a commentary suggesting America should close its zoos. "It feels absolutely wrong to cage" animals. "It feels like a Stone Age thing."

They had zoos in the Stone Age? Isn't it more likely they just killed and ate animals rather than put them on display? She began her commentary by relaying how a Sumatran tiger had cubs at the National Zoo in D.C., but then shifted to the zoo-cruelty line:

BURNETT: Costa Rica, known for its incredible biodiversity, is closing its zoos because cages are bad for animals.Costa Rica's minister of the environment says the decision was based on a childhood experience. He said, "One day, we took the parrot out to the patio and a flock of wild parrots passed. And the parrot went with them. We fed them with food and affection, all these things that we as humans thought she liked, and when she had a chance, she left."

She, after all, is wild and wants to be with her own kind.

I always thought zoos were important, inspiring children to respect animals. But after reading the Costa Rica story, I'm not sure. The quarters the tiger cubs are kept in are very small. Some animals in the zoo seem lonely and forlorn. It feels absolutely wrong to cage them. It feels like a Stone Age thing.

We want to know what you think. Should America close its zoos? Let us know at Twitter @ErinBurnett and @OutFrontCNN.

In her defense, Burnett's on a "Stone Age" kick. She ended her show Wednesday night marveling at the know-how of the North Koreans, despite their dictatorship. "It's easy to dismiss a place like North Korea and imagine that it's in the Stone Age. But while it's regime is a tragedy, here is to what the country can add to the world when its people are finally free."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis