No, seriously: I do think zoos do a *lot* of good. Much of the time.
It’s not necessarily a Seaworld situation.
Yeah a lot of animals don’t even have habitats anymore anyway. So zoos are just giving them a home. Even if people come to see them nearly everyday, its better then being kicked out of their habitat eventually by man.
The funds from zoos are often used to feed the animals anyway (most zoos are non profit they cant use that money for people) if you pay to go to the zoo you are paying to keep those animals alive
Zoos also educate people about animals, allowing for people to fall in love with the weird and wonderful. They help promote habitat preservation and putting a stop to poaching. Please don’t dismiss zoos, they’re not the same places as they used to be in the 1800s, or even the mid 1900s.
So while Zoos are absolutely miles better than they were historical, there are still many serious issues. In terms of education, while I totally get why most people believe that zoos teach people (children especially) about how to protect animals and their habitats and are great places of education, this is not actually the case. In reality viewing captive animals in zoos only teaches people how animals react to boredom, depression, and stress in captive situations. The most effective methods of education in zoos come via presenting videos, documentaries, interactive modules, graphic displays, and computer simulations. which all show animals in their natural environments and do not require any animals to actually be kept in zoos.
In terms of the work Zoos to in regards to species conservation and habitat preservation, zoos really are not effective, especially compared to other conservation and preservation work. While there are zoos that do good conservation work, most of the significant conservation work is not from zoos but other organizations that work with wildlife and natural habitats. Most animals in captivity are not even classified as endangered, with the priority of Zoos being in getting hold of animals popular with visitors, rather than those who face extinction. When it comes to breeding programs (and breeding animals in captivity aren’t the best way to help in conservation) zoos do spend plenty of money on these programs however half of the animals being bred by Zoos are not classed as endangered in the wild and 25% are not threatened species but ones popular with visitors. It’s also actually massively more expensive to keep animals captive in zoos than to protect equivalent numbers of them in the wild! When it comes to the research, few Zoos actually support meaningful scientific research (with fewer employing scientists with full-time research jobs) and of those that do employ scientists its common for these scientists to study free-living animals rather than those within the zoo. Due to the nature of any research that does take place in zoos, the results of this research also generates little information about how to best conserve species in the wild as studies of captive animals have limited benefits to animals in the wild and animals brought up in captivity are less likely to survive in the wild if reintroduced as they often don’t have the natural behaviors needed for survival in the wild. More effective methods of habitat preservation and species conservations would be a multipronged approach tackling habitat loss and climate change, investing in conservation programs in the wild, education, working with local communities, seriously addressing poaching etc. and also to move away from the Zoo model towards more ethical and effective models of species conservation.
Just a few of the other ethical issues with Zoos include surplus animals, who, when grow older, and are less attractive to patrons, will often be sold or killed. Animals who breed frequently also are sometimes sold to game farms and ranches where hunters pay to kill them and other surplus animals are sometimes sold to roadside zoos,, private individuals, animal dealers, or to laboratories for experimentation purposes. The animals not sold often end up being fed to other zoo animals. In terms of the health of these captive animals, many develop health conditions and mental health problems such as Zoochosis. Of course, a major problem with zoos as well is that the animals who live there are kept in enclosures that don’t allow them to live their lives in a natural way and don’t compare with the natural habitat the animals were meant to be in. Zoo animals have to spend day after day, week after week, year after year in the exact same enclosure. This makes their lives very monotonous. Take elephants, for example, elephants in the wild, are used to traveling many miles a day in herds of about ten related adults and their offspring but in zoos are usually kept in pairs or even isolated in incredibly small enclosures compared to what they are used to in the wild. Elephants kept in zoos often show many signs of being mental distress and the average lifespan of elephants in zoos is around 16-18 years, instead of the 50-70 years they can live in the wild.
I’m just going to copy paste your response when people ask me what I’m going to school for. I’m very pro zoo and I want animals in their natural habitat just as much.
This is genuinely quite an interesting discussion.
found @ 28 likes ON 2019-02-27 21:34:33 BY ME.ME