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Are you for or against zoos??

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Written by   51
1 year ago

Until recently the case for zoos was never questioned. They are accepted as useful and entertaining amenities which were also educational. Children love seeing animals, and a visit to the zoo has always been a treat.

Gradually however unrest has grown about the morality of keeping animals, reptiles and birds in captivity, though not on grounds of ill-treatment, lack of hygiene or incorrect feeding.

The concept of confining them in cages became suspect. More than fifty years ago a wildlife park was established at Whipsnade in Bedfordshire, UK, and since the Second World War in the grounds of large houses such as Longleat. The major-attraction types of animals such as lions, tigers and elephants thus have room to move freely and to set up their own social structures. They are fenced off from the public except in safari parks where people can see them at close quarters from rover type vehicles.

There are four points in favor of zoos, and arguments against them all. The first is conservation. Due to over shooting and deforestation in Africa, India and elsewhere, many species are endangered or becoming extinct. The koala bear, some types of deer and the Arabian oryx are examples. Attempts to mate these in captivity have been successful, with the result that their natural habitats have been re-stocked. This process is expensive and time-consuming, however.

Sometimes it is unsuccessful. Sometimes animals bred in captivity cannot adapt to the wild, and either die or fall prey to predators. The fact is that only 5% of endangered species are to be found in zoos, so the whole concept may be wrong. These arguments do not of course apply to bird sanctuaries, where the birds are encouraged to frequent natural but protected habitats, and are never confined.

The main argument against is that available money should be put into the saving of natural habitats. Realistically, this is totally impracticable overseas, and difficult enough in the country concerned.

Point two is that zoos are educational. Seeing and touching animals means much more to a child than any number of good books or pictures. Children have a chance to touch, groom and ride on animals in a modern zoo. Some zoos specialize in activity centers which generate love of animals, understanding and enjoyment. The counter to this argument is that animals dislike being domesticated for any reason, and that in the strict sense the zoo does not further education. Zoology is best learnt in the classroom, in the laboratory, and from the text-book. Another counter-argument is that for close contact, visual or actual, cages must be small. This inhibits exercise, and worse, prevents the putting together of enough animals to allow for natural social behavior, i.e. the setting up of families and clans. However it is conceded that given large enough cages or confined areas with sufficient animals these defects can be largely overcome. It has to be said that zoos are constantly improving their facilities and bringing them into line with the animal's natural surroundings as far as possible. The polar bear house in London Zoo is currently being remodeled in this way.

If the wishes of the public are to be considered, zoos as recreational amenities have a large following, and should be kept. Children have been mentioned, but the informative booklets, scripts and tapes available in a modern zoo attract the adult also. Entrance takings are high, and money becomes available for research as well as improvement. Some agree; others ask why animals should be made a peepshow.

The fourth argument for zoos is that they not only allow for research but also finance it. This again is not considered a valid argument by the opponents. What kind of research ? people ask. In the case of the London Zoo the answer is that they have an Institute of Zoology. This produces comparative surveys, statistics for analysis, and data bases. The veterinary branch learns how best to keep animals and treat them when sick. Animal nutrition is studied. Problems of re-introduction into the wild are studied. Animal behavior is studied. Nothing was known about the social habits of the rhinoceros until specimens were brought into captivity and observed in suitable surroundings.

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What of the future ? Despite all arguments to the contrary, the continued development of zoos seems to be a valid policy. The old defects will be overcome. Surroundings will be made larger and more natural. There is also a strong case for the specialized zoo or sanctuary, such as the woolly monkey sanctuary at Looe, in Cornwall, UK. This provides conservation, education about their kinship and social life in natural colonies, plus personal contact, with opportunities to touch and groom; also lectures. The future may lie in this direction.

@David_BCH

14-12-2021👍👍👍

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Written by   51
1 year ago
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Comments

I don't know if I'm against or not, zoo is truly educational and the animals are in great care however, they seems like in a cage too, what I mean is that they're way too far from their family or either with their same species.

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1 year ago

This is a very difficult question. On one hand, a zoo is educational and,in the best cases, a place for study and research. On the other hand one can ask if we, as humans, have the right to keep individuals of other species in captivity for our own sake. Shouldn't they have the right to keep their natural habitat and live on their own conditions there? This becomes a moral dilemma - so it is hard to say as well "yes" as "no" too zoos. Whatever one answers, there are reasonable objections to that answer.

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1 year ago

If these animals are well catered for, I don't see why I should be against

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1 year ago

Me i really love zoo but for my 20 years of living? I never went to that place. If only i will to decide i would love to have many zoo with good care

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1 year ago

WAW For me, I have just been there for once that's when I was small 🤣

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1 year ago