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Are Zoo Animals Abused

author
Maria Johnson
• Saturday, 21 November, 2020
• 9 min read

In a new report, an animal welfare group has flagged hundreds of zoos affiliated with the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (GAZA) for mistreating animals, including making big cats perform in gladiator-style shows, elephants play basketball, and diapered chimpanzees ride scooters. GAZA, founded in 1935, is a global organization of zoos and aquariums that promotes conservation and animal welfare.

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Contents

D’Crude says WAP included indirect members in the report because it believes GAZA should, at a minimum, outline a code of ethics and animal welfare policy for those zoos and aquariums, which it doesn’t know. These venues include African Lion Safari in Canada, Cargo Wildlife Ranch in South Africa, and SeaWorld San Antonio in Texas.

The report said Cargo Wildlife Ranch “offers visitors the chance to pet cheetahs and serials in an enclosed yard, taking selfies with the animals under the supervision of staff members.” “We started doing substantial research on and found a lot of scorned and unhappy ex-employees, donators, contributors, and many cracks and holes in the organization became clear without much effort,” she said in an email.

“Accredited facilities, like SeaWorld San Antonio, hold themselves to high standards and are still only a fraction of facilities that hold and display animals, ” AZA president and CEO Dan Ashe wrote in an emailed statement. In a statement, GAZA said WAP’s report was incorrect and that the organization takes animal welfare seriously.

She says that during the past year three members have had their GAZA membership terminated after losing accreditation with their regional or national association. “Considering the vast range of species our members take care of,” Kirk-Cohen says, it’s not possible to provide a list of unnatural or demeaning behaviors, but they’re one's animals wouldn’t exhibit in the wild, Kirk-Cohen says.

Read more Wildlife Watch stories here, and learn more about National Geographic Society’s nonprofit mission at national geographic.org. World Animal Protection Zoo D’Asheville in France offers customers shows such as these, where once free-roaming tigers are made to mimic their trainer for an audience.

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WAP essentially scoured the websites of all 1,241 WAZA-linked venues across 78 countries and combed through the descriptions of what the zoos or aquariums offer their customers. World Animal Protection Ocean Discovery show at SeaWorld has dolphins beach themselves for the approval of their trainers and audiences.

“Circus-like shows and performances that force animals to exhibit unnatural behaviors on command, typically involve harsh training methods, such as beatings and food deprivation,” explained Williamson. Germany’s Circus Locally made an impressive effort earlier this year to replace the appeal of seeing real animals perform with 3D holograms, instead.

“It is troubling that in 2019 we still have venues such as SeaWorld San Antonio inflicting this level of suffering on wild animals and calling it entertainment,” said WAP Executive Director, Alessia Soltanpanah. “These demeaning attractions simply have no place in any modern leading zoo or aquarium whilst hiding under the label of ‘conservation.’ It is not ‘conservation’ to put animals in small tanks and force them to perform every day.

Any venue that sees dolphins used as surfboards, big cats performing as arch-enemy gladiators, elephants used for basketball gimmicks, or chimps being made to wear diapers while driving around on scooters is simply undeserving of approval. “If are aware of any zoos that participate in any of the activities listed above, then should not go, and spread the word through friends, family, and social media networks,” Williamson said.

Roadside zoos are businesses that capitalize on breeding, buying, and selling sentient beings. Authorities have cited Maturing for numerous violations including enclosures caked with food and feces buildup, failing to provide a young lion with enough light for a diurnal light cycle and for failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care.

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Other than begging tourists for food scraps, essentially the only thing that these bears can do to pass the time is pace back and forth and walk in endless circles. In nature, giraffes aren’t completely weaned until they’re at least 1-year-old, and mothers and their calves often stay together for their entire lives.

For years, big cats, bears, and other animals trapped at Vacated Zoological Farm have been witnessed pacing and baboons have been seen swaying and rolling their heads. These bears have no escape from their cramped, hot concrete-floored cage, and their inadequate water trough is typically empty.

Such ancient collections were not held for exhibition in public parks or maintained for purposes of education and recreation. After the conquest of Dacia, Emperor Trajan held 123 days of games in celebration, during which thousands of animals were slaughtered, including elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, tigers, giraffes, crocodiles, bulls, hippopotamus and stags.

In 1898, the reason was cited by the New York Zoological Society when it resolved to inform the public of the continued decline in animal populations, to stimulate sentiment in favor of animal protection, and to cooperate with scientific organizations to ensure the preservation of species. Modern zoos play a critical role in the education of children and families about the various animals found on our planet.

Zoos also partner with local communities to extend the knowledge of animals and conservation to a wider audience. Placing such animals in zoos, especially those hunted and poached, provides them with a safe environment where the species can thrive.

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With the dangers of climate change fast approaching, such measures are proving extremely important for the conservation of species. Recently Australia has had to face an unprecedented wave of bush fires that have been blamed on climate change.

The fires have destroyed vast areas of habitat and killed millions of animals, including Kangaroos, koalas, and other species unique to the continent. It is, therefore, essential to have animals in zoos and other areas where they can be accorded extra protection from such unpredictable events.

Extensive breeding programs at the zoo and reintroduction into wild habitats helped in saving the species from extinction. Other animals that have been preserved in protected areas such as zoos include the Golden Lion Tamarin, Arabian Onyx, Freshwater mussels, and the Puerto Rican Parrot.

In addition to providing residence to animals, zoos create jobs and tourism opportunities that generate revenue for the local community. Today zoos are staffed with highly trained personnel having specialized knowledge on the animals they are tasked to care for.

Many zoos also have veterinarians, pathologists, and technicians who can provide specialized care to animals, including parasite removal and other forms of treatment. Zoo personnel are also aware of the physical and dietary requirements that each species needs to maintain them in a healthy state.

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Activities do not adequately replace migration and hunting requirements for animals, but they do eliminate deterioration and boredom at the zoo. Zoos support scientific research by allowing scientists easy access to specimens or species under study.

Such studies create models that help improve zoo conditions so that animals can live longer, breed more successfully, and be happier. Many zoos currently work in collaboration with universities that research the facilities and train professionals such as veterinarians who can then help care for animals.

Taking an animal from its natural habitat for the sole reason of human entertainment raises several moral and ethical issues. Once they were rescued, they were found to be suffering from malnutrition, kidney, and cardiac problems, as well as trauma from living in a war zone.

Due to a lack of activity, the elephant's feet began to deteriorate to a point where it became difficult for her to walk. Zoos that practice breeding programs face challenges when reintroducing animals back into the wild.

Restriction of some animals such as elephants adversely affects their migratory instincts leading to aggressive behavior. Some zoos continuously breed animals to get newborns to keep visitors coming and revenue streams flowing.

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In addition to raising ethical and moral questions on such breeding, frequent births lead to overpopulation in a zoo with limited space. Almost all of us grow up with fond memories of visiting the zoo with our parents, grandparents or friends.

Unless you are able to afford a trip to Kenya, the zoo is the only place where you can see these amazing animals up close. Elephants in the wild, are used to traveling many miles a day in herds of about ten related adults and their offspring.

Elephants often show many signs of being stressed out or bored, like engaging in repetitive movements. It's not always easy to recognize stress behaviors, since most of us only know these wild animals from seeing them in zoos.

Stress behaviors can include repetitive movements, pacing back and forth, head bobbing, rocking, repeatedly retracing their steps, sitting motionless or biting the bars of their enclosure or themselves. The bored cheetah on the right is pacing back and forth, a very common stress behavior in zoo animals.

Some zoos actually give anti-depressants or tranquilizers to control the behavior problems of some of their animals. The clip on the right shows an elephant at the Milwaukee County Zoo in the summer.

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This stress behavior is difficult to recognize, which is obvious at the end of the clip when you hear a woman say: “if I could just do that all day, man that would be pretty sweet.”. The clip on the left shows an elephant at the Milwaukee County Zoo in the winter.

She spends almost the entire day in this small, concrete enclosure and is showing obvious signs of stress. What makes life so difficult for zoo animals is that they hardly have any privacy and lack mental stimulation and physical exercise.

Even animals that are bred in zoos still retain their natural instincts after many generations of captive breeding. Animals like polar bears or felines are used to hunting; this habit is replaced by the zoo with regular feedings.

Most animals kept in zoos would naturally roam for tens of miles a day. Once you start recognizing the signs of stress in zoo animals and understand how sad and boring their lives must be, zoos will look completely different to you.

However, hardly any zoo registers their animals on an international species database and most zoo animals are not endangered at all. This is because zoos don't provide the right environment for a successful captive breeding project.

dogs abused rescued breeding farm animals better
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The animals would need to live in habitats resembling their natural ones, especially in terms of climate and fauna. The animals would also need to be raised with minimal human contact and in populations large enough to provide a natural social balance and a suitable gene pool.

Dealers will sell them to hunting ranches, pet shops, circuses, the exotic meat industry, and research facilities. Zoos are considered a great teaching tool where children and adults can learn a lot about wild animals.

Zoos however, hardly teach you anything about how wild animals live and behave in nature. Zoos are not much more than a collection of sad and exploited animals and are giving a very bad example about how we should treat these fellow occupants of our Earth.

If we can't afford to visit them, we can learn about these amazing wild animals by watching wildlife videos, television programs or by reading about them on the internet or in books and magazines. It is simply not right to enjoy seeing these animals while they are living a horribly sad life.

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