Would a person feel angry if he or she were in a prison for nothing? Anyone would say, “ Of course!” Then why do people think that animals feel happy in zoos, which are the same as prisons? I remember once I visited Los Angeles Zoo, and I compared this zoo to what I saw in my country. I noticed a huge difference between them. In the zoo in my country, all the animals were kept in cages, while in Los Angeles Zoo they had more space to wander around. However, this is still a “ prison”…” Even under the best of circumstances at the best of zoos, captivity itself is hell for animals meant to roam free” (Kaufman, 1997, p. 611K7091). People should consider this and make a right decision.
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Zoos should be closed to the public. There are many other ways to teach people about the wildlife, such as TV, radio, magazines and newspapers, books in schools, and so on. As Kaufman points out, zoos “ are teaching the wrong lesson — that it is acceptable to keep animals in captivity, bored, cramped, lonely and far from their natural homes” (June 11, 1997, p. 611K7091). In zoos, a great number of people walk by each animal every day; this must irritate all the animals. For example, Morgan says that “ hundreds of people [regularly] wait for the endangered giant leather-backed turtle to lay eggs”, and that “ their noise and flash cameras frighten turtles and interfere with the egg-laying” (1995, p. 136).
“ Animals are not marketable goods to be torn from their families and homes at our will and displayed for human entertainment,” says Kaufman (1997, p. 611K7091). There are several ways for middlemen to make money on an animal that has been acquired from a zoo, points out Goldston (February 11, 1999, p. K1903): it can go “ to a game farm, to an auction, the meat man or as an exhibit.” Then there are people willing to mount it, which can bring them $5, 000 to $10, 000, and demand for which is great because “ Animals from zoos are in much better condition than animals in the wild,” according to the aforementioned article by Goldston. In addition, many zoo dealers do not do what they are supposed to do – that is to bring the captive-bred animals back to their natural habitats. Most of them even simply kill a parent and take its babe to sell it to zoos or any other collectors (“ Monkey business,” p. 65). Thus, zoos should be closed so as not to attract those middlemen.
All the animals in zoos are imprisoned, so zoos should be eliminated to free the captives. As anyone can notice, they are unable to do what they want to; they just walk back and forth in their enclosures. This leads to the likelihood that after returning from zoos, they might not be able to “ hunt and fend for themselves in the wild,” says Sarel van der Merwe, chairman of the African Lion Working Group, in “ Almost impossible to teach” (2002, p. 1008318u8613). Furthermore, since returning them to the wild is difficult and costly, many zoos cannot even attempt it. “ A 1994 report showed that only 1, 200 out of 10, 000 zoos worldwide are registered for captive breeding and wildlife conservation. Only 2 percent of the world’s threatened or endangered species are registered in captive breeding programs” (Kaufman, 1997, p. 611K7091).
Instead of running zoos, people should protect biodiversity. “ Public money…should go into habitat protection, into keeping poachers and trophy hunters at bay, and into nonprofit sanctuaries that are interested in helping animals, not making a profit from them” (Kaufman, 1997, p. 611K7091). As Morgan states, a third of forest, without which most species cannot exist, “ has been lost since agriculture began 10, 000 years ago” (1995, pp. 136-143). Therefore, let’s be more concerned about the safety of ecosystems rather than keeping animals in zoos by taking their freedom from them. Zoos should help wildlife but not attract public or zoo dealers that may harm the “ balance of the natural systems” (Morgan, 1995, p. 136).
Work Cited List:
Almost impossible to teach captive tigers to hunt, says expert. (2002, November 14)
Africa News Service, p. 1008318u8613.
Goldston, L. (1999, February 11). Professional dealers emerge as gatekeepers for thousands of animals from zoos. Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service,
Kaufman, R. (1997, June 11). Zoos are ‘ a lost world.’ Knight Ridder/Tribune News
Service, p. 611K7091.
Monkey business. (1990, September 1). The Economist (US), 316, p. 65.
Morgan, S. (1995). Ecology and the environment. New York: Oxford University Press.