Markets in everything the culture that is Argentina

by on June 28, 2011 at 10:11 am in Economics | Permalink

Here at the Lujan Zoo near Buenos Aires visitors can ride lions, cuddle bears, stroke tigers and feed cheetahs. Cages are accessible to everyone who paid $50 and signed the paper saying that if you are eaten, the Zoo is not responsible.

Visitors can even pick up the smaller animals and manhandle them at risk to themselves and the creatures. Shockingly there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of safety regulations to protect either humans or animals and Internet blogs are littered with pictures of tourists with the animals.

Even children are allowed to enter the lion’s cage and fondle a range of animals that have the potential to kill or maim them.

The story is here, with photos, and for the pointer I thank Yana.

B.B. June 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

So why is the US so different from Argentina?

Is it the lawyers? Would any zoo in the US dare to take that approach in light of US notions of legal liability?

Is it the regulators? (Of course, regulations are written and enforced by lawyers.)

Floccina June 28, 2011 at 10:46 am

I bet that they have looser pays in Argentina.

Anthony June 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Waivers like that wouldn’t hold up in an American court, especially since the health insurance or life insurance company paying out would have better lawyers than the zoo.

Douglas Knight June 29, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Would the waivers hold up in an Argentinian court?

YouAreNotTheBossOfMe June 30, 2011 at 2:19 am

“Would the waivers hold up in an Argentinian court?”

What a laugh. As much as I love Argentina, the entire place is corrupt. Waivers, schmaivers. To hold their court system, nay any part of their government to the type of scrutiny that we take for granted here in the US is absurd.

That place is run by the Golden Rule – he who has the gold, makes the rules. Until of course, you get nationalized and then eventually sold back into private hands. Head I win, tails you lose.

I still love that nutty place, but have no expectations that it will ever get better….

Neal June 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

Adults, I can understand. But CHILDREN?

Yancey Ward June 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

Double benefit to the zoo- lower feeding costs along with new revenue.

Erik June 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

Where are the anecdotes of hurt or dead visitors? Would this be safe for American soldiers or should the US armed forces bomb the place with drones first?

I guess dying in an auto accident, from a gunshot wound or from dirty, particulate-filled air is socially acceptable but getting hurt by a “dangerous predator” is not. Come to think of it, the notion of cleansing entire human communities or destroying vast swathes of natural habitat for low-density housing are probably more socially acceptable.

North Americans make such interesting choices when it comes to managing risk.

Ilan June 28, 2011 at 12:06 pm

The animals are drugged and the customers probably know this.

techreseller June 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm

And if the animals are not drugged or become resistant, we have evolution in action. Any parent that would allow their child near an unchained, top of the line predator should not have bred in the first place. It would be better to have the predator take out the parent, but one takes what one can get.

Kinda harsh, but this is stupid. Harms both the humans and the animals.

Cyrus June 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Probably safer than a wildlife reserve: the animals are well fed, accustomed to nearby people, and those with a history of threatening visitors are filtered out. Visitors with a history of threatening the animals are are also filtered out.

JasonL June 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I’m going with the heavy sedation theory as well. I would kind of laugh for days at any adult who got eaten while trying to ride a tiger. There has to be an odds maker out there somewhere …

John June 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

All the pictures look relatively tame, except for the guy swinging the bear cub by its hind legs. I would have liked to see him get eaten, all the rest not so much.

I’m sure the animals are well fed, and in the context of what has become or what has always been their day-to-day normal, they probably have no reason to consider attacking.

Until one of these days when someone wearing a disagreeable perfume comes along, of course.

Black Death June 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Follow the links to the soccer riot, the battleship Yamato and the cats’ birthday party.

Rahul June 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

The zoo owner must have been libertarian.

Craig June 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I’m generally not opposed to letting people kill themselves in creative ways…but the animals deserve more respect than that.

Ronald Brak June 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm

There was a chap in Australia who had a pet crocodile and things went well for years until the crocodile bit off his hand. However, they managed to get past that unpleasentness and remain friends. I guess the moral of this story is that these sorts of things can go well until they don’t.

C June 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

a) That’s insane. Drugged or not, you don’t have to watch Grizzly Man to realize that playing around with animals like is basically rolling the dice.

b) Easily the fattest cheetah I’ve ever seen.

ofis mobilyalar─▒ June 29, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I guess money talks..

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