Pros And Cons Of Animals In Captivity Essay

The captivity of animals in zoos has been a conflict for some time now. Many people think zoos are a form of cruel and unusual punishment for wild life. Many people believe an animal in captivity is denied its rights to freedom. Others believe it is a way to preserve endangered species while at the same time educational for the public. There are pros and cons to both sides, however, the use of zoos is not a necessary evil and should in fact be retired. There are many pros when it comes to zoos.

For example, zoos help keep endangered wildlife out of the reach of hunters as well as giving the species the ability to reproduce if the majority of the species is killed off. Animals are killed for many reasons such as fur, ivory, medicinal purposes, meat, and many other reasons. Zoos act as a safe place for these animals. Endangered animals have a much more likely chance of reproducing enough to conserve their species with the help of a zoo. Nabila Aziz of Wild Welfare explains that, “Zoos do a lot for conservation…

After 10 years of working to strengthen the population of the endangered California Condor, the Los Angeles and San Diego zoo were able to rebuild a population of fewer than two dozen birds to around 170. ” Zoos do in fact help with the education of the public. Learning about wildlife and the different animals that help make up a certain community is important. It is better to learn about these animals in their natural habitat rather than in a zoo, however, zoos do help the public learn without putting themselves in danger. Zoos also help the people who do not interact with animals in their everyday life.

For example, Aziz states that, “Nearly fifty percent of world’s people live in cities disconnected from nature and in such cities, zoos and Aquariums have a great potential to win huge support for wildlife preservation. In order to instill conservation sense in the general public, it is important to educate them about animals, their behavior, habitat, population changes, and why they need to be conserved. ” These people would not get to learn about the magnificent animals in the wild in it were not for these zoos. However, the more important fact to look at is how these mals are being treated while in the zoo.

Most people do not know how the animals at the zoo actually came to live there. Some animals are taken form their homes in the wild, especially if they are endangered, but others are just taken from other zoos. Animals are transported from one zoo to the next depending on their age and the attraction the animals brings to the zoo. Most people go to zoos in hopes of seeing the baby animals, so the zoos take the babies from one zoo and transport them to many others. If the animals are not being transported from zoo to zoo they are often taken from the wild.

According to Captive Animals’ Protection Society, or CAPS for short, “In 2003 the UK government gave permission for the capture of 146 penguins from a British territory in the South Atlantic (Tristan da Cunha). Those who survived the seven-day boat journey from Tristan to a wildlife dealer in South Africa were sold to zoos in Asia. ” These animals are being ripped away from their homes and families and are sold to live in horrible conditions. CAPS also says that, “A CAPS study found that 79% of all animals in UK aquariums were caught in the wild.

Sea Life aquariums admitted to taking animals from the wild as recently as 2013, but refused to provide information on how many of the animals held by them were wild-caught. ” “Animals in zoos are forced to live in artificial, stressful, and downright boring conditions,” explains Last Chance for Animals, or LCA, “Removed from their natural habitats and social structures, they are confined to small, restrictive environments that deprive them of mental and physical stimulation. While zoos claim to provide conservation, education, and entertainment, their primary goal is to sustain public support in order to increase profits. Money rules the world.

Zoos are just another way to make money. There are certain protocols that zoos have to follow in order to stay in business, however, those protocols are nothing like what the animal experiences in the wild. For example, “The federal Animal Welfare Act establishes only the most minimal standards for cage size, shelter, health care, ventilation, fencing, food and water,” Doris Lin, an animal rights expert from About News states, “For example, enclosures must provide ‘sufficient space to allow each animal to make normal postural and social adjustments with adequate freedom of movement.

Inadequate space may be indicated by evidence of malnutrition, poor condition, debility, stress, or abnormal behavior patterns. ” Zoos are not required to have any types of greenery or in any way resemble the animal’s natural habitat. As long as the enclosure has the most minimal standards for cage size, shelter, health care, ventilation, fencing, food and water, as stated above by Lin, the zoo is not in violation of protocol. The way these animals are treated while in captivity also impacts them psychologically.

Many zookeepers try to argue that the animals can be used for research, however, according to Last Chance for Animals, “There are simply very few zoos that practice relevant and reliable research. Those that do mainly examine the physiological structure of a captive animal, as well as the illnesses he or she has acquired. These results however, are obviously skewed towards animals living in captivity. ” These zoos can not effectively research a wild animal when the animals in captivity show mental illnesses that are caused by the fact that they are living in captivity.

The animal is now changed and the research is no longer effective. LCA also states that, “Many animals held in captivity begin to form abnormal symptoms referred to as “zoochosis. ” These neurotic and atypical behaviors occur as a result of boredom, depression, frustration, a lack of mental and physical enrichment, and removal from their natural habitat and social structures. ” Zoos are hurting more than they are helping. These animals are changing and losing key skills that are needed in order to survive in the wild.

Hannah Sentenac from One Green Planet looked at the differences between wild and captive animals. She says in the wild, “Elephants are some of the world’s most intelligent mammals. Social, perceptive and affectionate, they depend on close contact with other elephants and frequent exercise for their health and well being. In the wild, they live with as many as 100 other elephants. ” However, things change quite a bit when it comes to captive elephants. “In captivity, elephants are often kept alone or in units of two or three.

They’re deprived of the socialization that’s necessary for their well being, and frequently show abnormal signs of stress like head bobbing. Often, they’re chained in place and receive little to no exercise” (Sentenac 2014). She also points out the fact that these animal’s life spans are changing as well. Most, if not all, animals in captivity live a substantially shorter life than wild animals do. This would be the same as any human staying at home for the majority of their life. These animals will change for the worst rather than for the better.

Finally, surplus animals are a major issue when it comes to zoos. Surplus animals are, most of the time, adult animals who are no longer wanted or needed. According to Corrine Henn of One Green Planet surplus animals are, “Basically, any animal that does not ‘fit’ into the zoos breeding program can be considered a surplus. Surplus animals can also be animals that the zoo no longer finds profitable, cubs that were a big hit the year before might be replaced by newer, younger animals.

Since zoos are not responsible for lifetime care of animals, they can get rid of the animals who are no longer profitable or useful. ” This could be due to many things such as age, illness, size, or being breaded too much so the animal can no longer have children. These animals are often sold or traded to different zoos or given to sanctuaries. Many people are not aware of what happens to these animals or do not want to believe the harsh realities that come along with zoos. Besides selling or trading these animals, there is one other option called “zoothanasia. This is the killing of animals and is found in Europe and the United States. Zoothanasia has caused much concern and protest for people of communities who attend zoos. Copenhagen Zoo caused protest because of this very thing. Jacalyn Beales of Earth Island Journal explained the situation. She says, “”Marius,’an 18 month-old giraffe that had been born at the Copenhagen Zoo, was healthy and likely would have lived a long life.

The animal was put down (and then fed to lions at the zoo), because officials at the zoo concluded it was unsuitable for breeding. This happens very often and usually is not done to just one animal. Abigail Geer informs that, “Figures reveal that a startling 3,000-5,000 surplus animals are culled every year in European zoos, and those numbers don’t include the countless other non-European zoos that are also disposing of their inhabitants as and when they deem necessary. ” “Culling” in Europe is the same as “zoothanasia” in the United States. These zoos kill perfectly healthy animals in order to make room for more animals that will make the company money. This is the most inhumane thing zoos take part in.

The worst fact when it comes to zoos is that it is all preventable. Wild animals are supposed to be in the wild not in habitats for human entertainment. Humans would not like to be held captive if the tables were turned. Zoos are inhumane and are unnecessary. The same results zoos are supposed to have can happen in the wild. Humans should not impose on the circle of life when it is unnecessary. There are other ways to help endangered species and more human ways to help animals in need. Zoos are inhumane, unnecessary, and should be shut down if serious changes are not made.