少年派的奇幻漂流 Chapter 10
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Chapter 10
Yet there will always be animals that seek to escape from zoos. Animals that are kept in unsuitable enclosures are the most obvious example. Every animal has particular habitat needs that must be met. If its enclosure is too sunny or too wet or too empty, if its perch1 is too high or too exposed, if the ground is too sandy, if there are too few branches to make a nest, if the food trough is too low, if there is not enough mud to wallow in - and so many other ifs - then the animal will not be at peace. It is not so much a question of constructing an imitation of conditions in the wild as of getting to the essence of these conditions. Everything in an enclosure must be just right - in other words, within the limits of the animal's capacity to adapt. A plague upon bad zoos with bad enclosures! They bring all zoos into disrepute.
Wild animals that are captured when they are fully2 mature are another example of escape-prone animals; often they are too set in their ways to reconstruct their subjective3 worlds and adapt to a new environment.
But even animals that were bred in zoos and have never known the wild, that are perfectly4 adapted to their enclosures and feel no tension in the presence of humans, will have moments of excitement that push them to seek to escape. All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable5 ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.
Whatever the reason for wanting to escape, sane6 or insane, zoo detractors should realize that animals don't escape to somewhere but from something. Something within their territory has frightened them - the intrusion of an enemy, the assault of a dominant7 animal, a startling noise - and set off a flight reaction. The animal flees, or tries to. I was surprised to read at the Toronto Zoo - a very fine zoo, I might add - that leopards9 can jump eighteen feet straight up. Our leopard8 enclosure in Pondicherry had a wall sixteen feet high at the back; I surmise10 that Rosie and Copycat never jumped out not because of constitutional weakness but simply because they had no reason to. Animals that escape go from the known into the unknown - and if there is one thing an animal hates above all else, it is the unknown. Escaping animals usually hide in the very first place they find that gives them a sense of security, and they are dangerous only to those who happen to get between them and their reckoned safe spot.

    然而总是有动物设法逃出动物园。最明显的例子是被养在不合适的围栏内的动物。每一只动物都有它独特的栖息地,这一点必须得到满足。如果它的围栏阳光太强烈 或者太潮湿或者太空旷i如果它的栖木太高或者太暴露;如果地上沙子太多;如果树枝太少,不够做窝;如果食槽太低;如果没有足够的泥巴可以打滚——还有很多 其他的如果——那么动物兢不会平静。问题并不在于建造一处模仿野生环境的地方,而在于体现这些环境的本质。围栏里的每一样东西都必须刚好合适——换句话 说,在动物适应能力的范围之内。愿上天降祸于有糟糕围栏的糟糕动物园吧!它们损害了动物园的名声。
    但是,甚至那些在动物园出生长大,对野生环境一无所知,对围栏完全适应,在人类面前丝毫不紧张的动物也会有兴奋的时刻,这样的时刻促使它们设法逃跑。所有 生物都有几分疯狂,会让它们做出奇怪的,有时难以解释的行为。这种疯狂可能会救它们的命;这是适应能力的必要组成部分。没有了这种疯狂,任何物种都无法生 存。
    无论想要逃跑的原因是什么,是清醒还是疯狂,诋毁动物园的人都应该意识到,动物不是要逃到某个地方去,而是要逃离某样东西。它们地盘上的某样东西让它们受 到惊吓——敌人的入侵,占支配地位的动物的攻击,让它们受惊吓的声音——引起了逃跑反应。于是动物逃跑了,或者试图逃跑。在多伦多动物园,一座非常好的动 物园,我应该补充一句——我惊讶地读到豹子可以垂直向上跳18英尺。
    我们在本地治里的豹子围栏后面有一堵16英尺高的墙;罗茜和模仿猫从没有跳出去过,我推测这并不是因为它们体质虚弱,而完全是因为它们没有理由要那 么做。逃跑的动物从它们所熟悉的环境进入它佃所不熟悉的环境——如果有什么是动物最痛恨的,那就是不熟悉的环境。逃跑的动物通常躲在第一个它们认为能够给 它们安全感的地方,只对那些碰巧挡在了它们和它们所认为的安全地点之间的人有危险。


1 perch 5u1yp     
  • The bird took its perch.鸟停歇在栖木上。
  • Little birds perch themselves on the branches.小鸟儿栖歇在树枝上。
2 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
3 subjective mtOwP     
  • The way they interpreted their past was highly subjective. 他们解释其过去的方式太主观。
  • A literary critic should not be too subjective in his approach. 文学评论家的看法不应太主观。
4 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
5 inexplicable tbCzf     
  • It is now inexplicable how that development was misinterpreted.当时对这一事态发展的错误理解究竟是怎么产生的,现在已经无法说清楚了。
  • There are many things which are inexplicable by science.有很多事科学还无法解释。
6 sane 9YZxB     
  • He was sane at the time of the murder.在凶杀案发生时他的神志是清醒的。
  • He is a very sane person.他是一个很有头脑的人。
7 dominant usAxG     
  • The British were formerly dominant in India.英国人从前统治印度。
  • She was a dominant figure in the French film industry.她在法国电影界是个举足轻重的人物。
8 leopard n9xzO     
  • I saw a man in a leopard skin yesterday.我昨天看见一个穿着豹皮的男人。
  • The leopard's skin is marked with black spots.豹皮上有黑色斑点。
9 leopards 5b82300b95cf3e47ad28dae49f1824d1     
n.豹( leopard的名词复数 );本性难移
  • Lions, tigers and leopards are all cats. 狮、虎和豹都是猫科动物。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • For example, airlines never ship leopards and canaries on the same flight. 例如,飞机上从来不会同时运送豹和金丝雀。 来自英语晨读30分(初三)
10 surmise jHiz8     
  • It turned out that my surmise was correct.结果表明我的推测没有错。
  • I surmise that he will take the job.我推测他会接受这份工作。
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