Personally I detest zoos only because I love nature and love to see animals in their natural habitat. It saddens me to see monkeys, seals, bears, etc., caged in or dolphins in what looks like fair-sized pools of water, but, when you consider the vast ocean that they belong to, the pool is but a puddle. If governments of this world are environmentally conscious (and the U.S. and Canada are not) then we wouldn’t have to go to zoos to see these animals. It’s a far greater thrill to see the real thing in their own habitat. • By zoo I think you mean animal prison. Besides robbing them of freedom: disease, illness, mistreatment by handler’s visitors and other animals, injury, psychological distress, injury to visitors, and the worst of all death of the animals. Good zoos are fine, but there are some zoos out there which most people don’t even know exist which are illegal and the species of animals kept are not well looked after. • While I agree to a great extent to both of the previous statements I would also have to say that the one thing about zoos that is good is that there are countless people in the world that do not have the means or opportunity to see wild animals in their natural habitat and a zoo is the only way they will ever have the chance to do so. It is sad though the way some animals are treated in zoos; I personally think the board of directors of a zoo should be personally held accountable for the well fare of the animals in their keeping.
Zoos nowadays are not marketed as places of entertainment – they are places of education. Most modern zoos have their main emphasis on conservation and education – the reason that so many schools take children to zoos is to teach them about nature, the environment, endangered species, and conservation. Far from encouraging bad treatment of animals, zoos provide a direct experience of other species that will increase ecological awareness.
The Pros and Cons of Zoos
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There are over 1,500 zoos in the world and over 200 of them are in Great Britain alone. This shows how popular zoos are all over the globe. With the wide range of species and animal presentations, it’s no wonder why 600,000 customers stream through zoo doors every year. However, zoos are always looking for ways to make money. Currently, Edinburgh Zoo, is trying to sell off some land so they can keep the zoo functioning. This shows they’re willing to sell off land that is meant for these animals, just to keep this unnatural habitat viable.
If an animal was under threat in their natural habitat it would be inhumane not to rescue them, not the other way around. We are merely protecting them from poachers and extinction. Breeding programmes are the main function of zoos, by reproducing species for our future generations, we are conserving animals. Some may say though that we should be leaving these animals alone to live their lives, no matter if it’s a short or long one. It’s a breach of their natural rights to use them for our own purposes, and the human race has done enough for these poor animals. I personally think that the zoos breeding programmes are a bad idea they have a very low success rate and by the end of the programme the animal hasn’t got the characteristics of what the animal born in wild would have, so it’s just a waste of time.
Zoos where animals are fed well and looked after properly with nice surroundings should be encouraged throughout the world and in most zoos this is the standard they go by. Maybe if one zoo is suffering from abusive problems it does not mean that all zoos should be shut down. Even if these are the guidelines zoos follow animals are still stressed and suffering. They show this by displaying self-destructive behaviour. What is educational about watching an animal in its unnatural habitat, behaving in a way that it wouldn’t normally behave? In my opinion children would be better educated reading a book or watching a documentary of an animal behaving in a natural way, and if that means animals dying out then at least they died with their dignity intact.
If families and children come along to zoos as often as the figures say then ideas will be put in their heads that it’s okay for animals to be trapped in small cages and that they are only there for our entertainment and not our educational needs.
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Fortunately, most modern zoos main focus is in fact to educate the public. Many schools go to the zoos on trips and are shown presentations to learn about the animals. I believe that zoos need to be showing us that they’re not for entertainment but more for our educational purposes.
For some animals that are nearing extinction it is necessary for tests to be done to figure out new medicines and how to treat them. It is imperative that we get a chance to observe these animals and come up with new and improved treatments so that they can survive in their own habitats, bearing in mind that their habitats are constantly changing. However, what is the point in testing animals and finding new medicines when it is only on the rare occasion that animals do actually get sent back to the wild? Animals never needed man’s helped before, and we’ve interfered for the worst. I think that it’s wrong that we are interfering with animals because we are interested in what we would find.
To conclude, I believe, after the points I have made and the arguments that I have stated, that it is wrong for animals to be kept in zoos and to be deprived of their natural habitats and rights.