CLIVE SMITH: I wonder if the robots will end up keeping us in zoos?

I've never had any sympathy for people who get mauled by animals whilst they are kept in zoos or circuses.

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:08 am
Prince William should be allowed to have fun

In fact I’m usually pleased that the animals have got their own back.

Take the circus performer in Vietnam who recently had his face badly bitten by a crocodile. He bent down to put his head in the croc’s mouth and is now spending time in hospital.

I guess the croc finally snapped, if you excuse the pun, and the performer was dealt a big dose of karma.

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In this day and age I don’t think animals should be used for our entertainment. Just leave them be in the wild.

I mean, it’s not like the old days when you’d rarely see wild animals. These days there are plenty of TV shows featuring them, while those who can afford it can go on safari holidays.

So I was pleased to see that Portsmouth City Council has updated its ban on all wild and most domestic animals performing in the city.

Only horses and dogs are allowed now. This comes after last year’s zoo on the common had performing cats!

I’ve never enjoyed watching animals doing tricks. Even the dog acts on shows such as Britain’s Got Talent strike me as odd.

I’d far rather watch an insect do something clever in its natural habitat than a dog walking on two legs wearing a top hat. It’s just stupid and unnatural.

I’ve never been entirely comfortable with zoos either. Some animals will roam miles and miles during a day in the wild, but are kept in small enclosures for our pleasure.

Then there’s the mad panic when one escapes. But what would you do if you were in the same situation? Stay, or try to go?

Some people argue that even endangered species should just be left to become extinct rather than saving them in zoos.

I suppose if that’s what nature has decided and they haven’t become endangered because of the behaviour of humans, then so be it.

Humans will one day face extinction and a different species will colonise earth like the dinosaurs did before us. I wonder if the robots will have us in zoos?


Prince William has been lambasted again, this time for missing a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey to attend a lads’ weekend in Verbier, Switzerland.

But don’t forget that he’s a man in his 30s.

God forbid that he enjoys a lively night out with his mates!

Faced with a choice between smashing tequilas with your friends or singing hymns with dignitaries whose names you don’t know from countries that you really don’t want to ever visit, I know what I’d choose.

Just because he’s the future king of England doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy himself.

Believe me, princes and kings of the past have got up to a lot worse than some dodgy dad dancing in a nightclub.


I wrote a column last year about the proposed charges for dropping rubbish off at the tip and the implications that the introduction of these charges would have on flytipping.

It hardly took a genius to predict that there would be an increase.

And guess what? There is an increase.

I don’t think someone who’s done a bit of DIY on a Sunday should then have to pay to dispose of their stuff.

I’m not condoning covering Pigeon House Lane with plasterboard and rubble, but it was always going to happen this way.

What really puzzles me is that I can’t see the council will be making any money from these charges when faced with the increased costs of having to clear away flytipped junk.