Taking children to the zoo is a moral crime. Do you really think it’s right to show our future how to put animals in cages and not let them live in their natural habitats?
Are zoos good for animals? Are they good for anyone? Are they as wonderful or as terrible as they are usually portrayed? This subject has raised many questions. By investigating it thoroughly, I hope to be able to answer this question: Should zoos still exist?
Even though zoos “help” preserve animals, and they are supposed to be like the animals’ homes, they are more like “collections” of animals for people to see. And I know that most zoos have captive breeding programs, but most of those animals don’t get released to the wild. They usually end up being a part of a circus, a petting zoo, or sold to an exhibition!
Animals are often kept in spaces that are too small for them, where they cannot move around freely. They keep animals that should be running, swimming, flying, etc. in pens which are too small for them, and . preventing them from living a normal “animal” life.
An example of how cruel zoos can be is how they cut birds’ wings, so they cannot fly anymore. Aquatic animals usually don’t have enough place to swim, and many animals, that are accustomed to being in large packs, are alone. Hunting for their own food and mating rituals are no longer possible for them. Animals are very limited and have no privacy, and that usually leads to a very destructive behavior, called “zoochosis” (According to http://www.care2.com). One of the excuses zoos usually make is how they are educational opportunities. However, a great majority of the people who visit them, don’t stop to read about the animals. They just go and see the animals for their own entertainment, not to learn about the animal that is in captivity.
They also ridiculize them by making them perform shows, for the enjoyment of the people. And many times the animals have been put to work until they are completely exhausted. A recent study made at Oxford’s University showed that animals like polar bears, tigers and lions suffer a great deal of stress when they are in captivity. Another study showed how an elephant in captivity lives an average of 19 years, whilst an elephant in the wild lives an average of 46 years. I know it sounds completely crazy but there is proof and studies about it (http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/05/saving-the-elephants/) This explains some of it.
But zoos are not all negative, they are able to bring people and animals together. They make people learn to appreciate the animals. And this motivates them to protect the species in captivity. Zoos help to rehabilitate wildlife. They also have a good effect on people, as seeing an animal in person has much more effect than just watching a documentary about it. But if they hadn’t been hunted so much by humans then maybe that wouldn’t have been necessary. They provide shelter and breeding sanctuaries for animals that are endangered, because of habitat destruction, many animals are illegally hunted, destroyed or pushed to the point of extinction, like the black rhino. Zoos help save animals so that they do not get killed in the wild.
“We believe that under most circumstances wild animals should ideally be permitted to exist undisturbed in their natural environments. Zoos are, however, a currently established part of our society and a fact of life. Some of them provide benefits for animals, such as financially supporting conservation programs and the preservation and restoration of threatened and endangered species, as well as promoting the education of people to the needs of wild animals and their role in ecosystems.” – The Humane Society Of The United States.
In conclusion, zoos may not be the cruel and heartless places that some animal rights activists show. But they certainly aren’t the best place for an animal to be. And, thinking only about the animal I think that, even tho they are clearly a great learning opportunity, they should not exist, and the animals that were in them should be transferred to natural reserves or animal sanctuaries, places where they have the space to do whatever they want, and they are also protected from hunters.