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  • June 20Last Day of School 6/21 Early Out 12:30

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What’s Wrong with Zoos?

© Roger Allen

© Roger Allen

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You jump out of the car and run to the entrance of the zoo. You see all of the interesting animals gazing up at you from inside their cages. You think, “How cool! Look at these animals!” What you may not know is how thin or mistreated they are while being held captive. Did you know that zoos aren’t the only ones doing the harm, though? There are other organizations that harm animals, like circuses, or the very popular, Sea World. Some reasons why animal captivity is a problem is because of the animals becoming restless, experiments, and imprisonment.

One reason that animal captivity is bad is because it makes animals restless. Animals in cages have very stressful actions, such as rocking back and forth and self-harm. When they were in the wild, they could roam free and do whatever they want. But being in a cage doesn’t let animals have their privacy and makes them anxious to have hundreds of people watching them everyday. Petakids.com states, “Living without these important things often causes ‘zoochosis,’ a condition in which animals act strangely and even hurt themselves out of boredom and frustration.” Elephants and lions will pace back and forth. Other animals might purposely harm themselves too. These actions would not be seen in the wild.

Many zoos or places where animals are held in captivity don’t even care about the animals, themselves. Animals receive lots of attention when they are first born, but as an adult, they don’t receive all the attention anymore. Visitors will just move on to the new, more adorable baby animal. Some animals could be killed after being the star of entertainment. “The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) said in 2007 that member zoos were being actively encouraged to kill unwanted animals, including tigers, if other zoos did not want them…” Animal imprisonments could also sell the poor animals. Think about being thrown out just because you were an adult! The animals are traded, auctioned or sold. That’s obviously not what the purpose of animals are. They could be sold to some traveling circus, or be bought just to be killed.

Animal captivity prevents them from roaming freely in the wilderness. As well as preventing freedom, this doesn’t allow animals to get the exercise they need each day or the proper food in order to stay healthy. Animals who have been kept in captivity don’t learn as much as they would if they lived in the wild. Animals, such as lions, will never learn to hunt or have the feeling freedom. They are only fed the food the captors are providing for them. They also don’t know how to defend themselves. If they were to be released back into the wild, the animal won’t have the training for defence that it would have gotten as a youngling. A great example of the animals escaping to be free is the movie, Madagascar. In the movie, the animals escape from the zoo to be free from being a piece of entertainment. This is what all animals feel like when they are imprisoned in a zoo. The animals want to be free.

No matter how much hand sanitizer that zoo or aquariums provide, these animals in touch tanks or petting zoos are always getting touched by dirty, slimy hands. “Sharks, stingrays and other fish are included in the exhibit, and spend their days being poked and prodded by visitors — it’s no way for animals to live,” a Toronto resident Ruslan Benko writes. Hand sanitizer is also bad for the animals. Even though the chemicals in the sanitizer may be fine to us, who knows what harm that could do to the animals! Though it may seem cool to touch the animals, it’s extremely harmful to all of the animals- and you! You could contact a disease from these creatures and the same goes for them too.

Entertainment affects these animals in poor ways. animal captivity. They train animals in their cages, and the poor creatures don’t like it. Animals want to be free, not hassled around. Traveling groups, such as circuses, are harmful to animals as well. The animals travel in small metal boxes all the time and the keepers can’t stop traveling whenever the animal needs to get exercise, or to be fed and cleaned. The animals become bored and restless. Peta.org states, “Without exercise, animals become listless and prone to illness, and as a reaction to stress and boredom, they may resort to self-mutilation.”. Traveling groups have also been known to not give animals proper care like if the animals are sick or in need of physical help. Even though it might be entertaining to watch, it puts these animals in misery.

Though zoos may claim that animals are getting the care it needs, it might not be good enough. Most zoos are under strict law to keep the animals contained in those sad grey stone-like domains, and the animals are not allowed to roam free. Some animals have to be in those stone territories that the zoos provide, instead of playing in the outside area of their prison. Zookeepers also have many other animals that they have to take care of, so animals don’t necessarily get all the attention, even when they are first born.

Animal captivity also includes animals being tested on. Sometimes, items like a medicine or a new experiment can be tested on these critters. As we know, test results on anything can be harmful. Just think about these poor animals being tested on, where the scientists may have no idea what the results are! And who knows what the people are doing in those labs! Rodents, such as mice and rats, are the usual test subjects and the scientists don’t care if the animals get harmed or not. Thankfully, more and more companies are banning animal testing.

So what are the good things about zoos? Zoos do their best to keep endangered animals safe. They make sure that the endangered creatures stay safe from hunters or other animals. It is also cool to see animals that you haven’t ever seen before! If you go to a wildlife habitat or zoo in another country, you should definitely check out the animals that you can’t see here!

So why should we care about holding animals captive? How would you like it if you were kept in a small territory for most or all of your life? Or fed a small amount of food everyday? Or having to life your life as an experiment? You wouldn’t want to, would you? So think about those poor animals that have to experience it. They probably don’t want that life. So, if you dream of having a successful business that deals with animals in the future, consider that they would like to be treated properly too. Instead of spending money on zoos you can donate to peta.org or aspca.org!

 

Sources:

https://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-reasons-keeping-animals-captivity-wrong/

https://www.petakids.com/save-animals/zoos/

https://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2010/03/10-facts-about-zoos

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/20/ripleys-touch-tanks-petting-sharks_n_5514674.html

https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/zoos-pseudo-sanctuaries/traveling-petting-zoos/

https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animals-laboratories/mice-rats-laboratories/

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What’s Wrong with Zoos?