Are Zoo Animals Domesticated

James Smith
• Sunday, 01 November, 2020
• 11 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic has now reached almost every part of the planet since the first cases appeared in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. In the United States, the epicenter of the virus is New York City, which as of late April 6 had over 68,000 positive cases.

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All seven cats are expected to recover and according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, who manages the zoo, they are “bright, alert and interactive with their keepers.” Since the country is on lockdown, the streets have been mostly free of humans, leaving room for the goats to roam unbothered.

“I suspect that the animals notice that things are different now, but we have not seen real changes in their behavior,” Libel told Newsweek. He says while they miss the guests, they are pleased that the videos they've shared of what the animals are up to has gained such a positive reaction.

There was also seemingly a large push across the country to find those who were able to foster or adopt animals who are currently living in shelters. President and CEO of the ASPCA, Matt Persuader, says this is in large part due to the strain put on shelters across the country who are struggling with reduced staffing.

This is the most compassionate way to return that favor, so we are encouraging people to adopt or temporarily foster animals now more than ever.” In the last few years, the idea that human development has been altered by the cultural changes and transformations that have occurred throughout the centuries seems to have gained ground.

One of the most important cultural renovations in our history took place over 10,000 years ago, when a society of hunters and gatherers evolved into new types of human communities that started to produce their own food. Domestication was a circumstance that emerged spontaneously in a number of population centers, which led to a new way of life : farming and stock breeding.

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By Justin Ve enema Domestic animals belong to species (or populations thereof) that don’t exist in wild forms, but are maintained by humans for their exploitation, which is carried out in captivity. It’s important to note that there are also semi-domestic or tamed animals, which are those that are exploited by humans and can be held captive, but don’t fulfill all the conditions mentioned above.

By Ninja SS | Shutterstock.com The domestication of animal species is associated with an increase in the size of the human population, and, apparently, this practice emerged in different regions at different times (multiple origins). It’s quite likely that the appearance of this practice took place in a period with a marked climatic seasonality, which caused instability in the environment (dry, hot summers and cold winters), forcing the population to look for new and more efficient ways of exploiting resources.

These animals also had to be herbivores or omnivores, so they could be fed a plant-based diet (or another type of diet, in the case of omnivores), food that can easily be obtained or produced by humans (unlike foods of animal origin, which are harder to get and that would have been needed to feed carnivore species). This can be reflected, for example, in a smaller body size, shorter horns or limbs (limited defense capabilities) or in a reduction of the ability to fly in birds (as is the case of hens).

By Patryk SobczakOn the other hand, the behavior of domestic animals is also altered; they’re generally more docile and manageable, and present a comparatively earlier maturation. They also have a number of common ethological traits that made domestication easier: they’re more tolerant to humans, who they allow to play a dominant role, and are more sociable with other individuals of their species, which means they can live in groups.

Lastly, the domestic species are more rustic; they have a greater tolerance to changes in their environment and diet. It should allow for some type of relationship to develop, which can even be an association that both will benefit from (may that be because it provides food, protection, etc.

(Source: planetzoo.fandom.com)

While early hunters and gatherers kept their nomadic ways, the new societies of farmers and cattle breeders led significantly more sedentary lives, which helped increase the size of populations. This new lifestyle also allowed the communities to save physical energy, as they no longer had to constantly relocate nor spend long days hunting.

Besides, the majority of the population was involved in the production of new foods, which provided a more balanced diet, rich in carbohydrates and vegetable protein. SHOPCUSHIONS / £28.00–£33.00 Size: 45 cm x 45 cm Bring a taste of the wild home with you, as each animal presents their own unique character in this rather amusing collection of Zoo Portrait cushions.

Domestic Animals in Zoo Education California State University, Northridge Zoos have always had a profound influence on how people regard animals. In the 19th Century, many Americans received their first exposure to wild animals through traveling circuses and menageries that often displayed them in small, cell-like exhibits separated from the public by heavy cage bars.

The behavior of wild animals in captivity is greatly influenced by their housing, and our great- grandparents were probably introduced to many confined creatures that nervously paced back and forth and appeared to be unfriendly to people. The iron bars reinforced the common assumption that wild animals are dangerous to people, a view that fit in very well with the general attitude that Nature was something first to be conquered, then tamed in the service of Mankind.

As zoos gradually changed from menageries to zoological gardens, the animals were moved from their cramped cages to large, open-air exhibits and the bars were replaced by chain link fences and moats. Concrete enclosures were made to look more natural with the addition of rock work and grass.

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The “invisible barriers” between exhibit animals and public viewing areas have allowed zoo visitors to get “up close and personal” with even the most exotic and potentially dangerous of species. It is possible that the modern zoo exhibit may be giving a view to the public that these now-familiar exotic animals are less dangerous to people than they actually are.

While owning a lion cub may spur some people into becoming zoo directors, as chronicled so well by the late Guy Smith of the Knoxville Zoo in A House for Joshua, the more common experience of exotic pet ownership is far less gratifying. The publication of The Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in the late 1950s perhaps more than any other single event brought to the American consciousness that the future of animals in the wild is in serious jeopardy.

The American public began to perceive the zoo as an Ark that could prevent extinction of animals by preserving in captivity the species that were threatened in the wild. During the last 20 years, however, the public has come to understand that environmental catastrophes are not inevitable and that at least some problems caused by humans can be prevented and possibly reversed.

With this increased awareness of wildlife and habitat conservation, the zoo is coming to be perceived as a Lifeboat rather than an Ark, the message in Lifeboats to Ararat by the late Sheldon Campbell of the San Diego Zoo. It is commonly incorporated in programs on vanishing species as well as in a variety of other ways in increasing public environmental awareness.

Import bans on vulnerable or endangered species have not ended the illegal importation of many kinds of animals, and as long as there is a market for wild animals as pets, smugglers will meet that demand. Thus, rather can reinforce the fear of wild animals as in the past, the modern zoo may now be cultivating a love affair between the American public and exotic species.

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One excellent way to bring this new message to the public is through educational programs on the history of domestication. This exploitation comes from hunting wild forms as well as through breeding animals in captivity.

Domestication is defined as a condition in which the breeding, care, and feeding of animals are, to some degree, subject to continuous control by humans. Whether the relationship between humans and the species is concentrated (as is the case of cattle) or weak (as with reindeer and llamas), some degree of biological change (morphological, physiological, and/or behavioral) in the animal is usually involved.

Many theories have been put forward in attempting to explain why humans began the process of domestication. It is thought that early humans needed a supply of certain animals and therefore contrived to domesticate these species.

The white-tailed gnu (black wildebeest) is an example of a species that is in the process of being tamed in Africa. Reindeer are a tame form of Rangier brands, the caribou of North America that are included in many zoo collections.

Rather than coming to the zoo as seasonal “Santa's helpers,” reindeer could be used with other species in demonstrations of the degree to which the process of domestication has influenced the form and behavior of animals. Zoos may even wish to incorporate cultural anthropology into their programs by demonstrating the differences between Inuits and Laps in their exploitation of this species.

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(Source: planetzoo.fandom.com)

In the simplest form of domestication, the animals that are maintained in captivity undergo physiological and/or biological changes. However, while they are genetically isolated from wild populations, no special effort may be made to select specific characteristics for breeding.

Although this species is used in every way as a domestic animal in some parts of the world, its breeding is not subject to human control. Other zoo animals that are now commonly bred by humans and may be termed semi- domesticated include the plains' bison, wood bison, wisent, musk ox, fallow deer, red deer, wild boar, mongoose, chinchilla, wild turkey, ring-neck pheasant, and Guinea fowl.

Most animals that in this category are easily recognized as being “non-wild” forms, such as most breeds of domestic dogs, cats, rabbits, sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, horses, hamsters, and chickens. An excellent example of a fully domesticated animal with a very “wild” appearance that would fit very well into zoo collections is the yak.

Yaks have been utilized by humans for meat, milk and even as a beast of burden for many hundreds of years and are said to be excellent pack and riding animals for mountain travel. While camels and water buffalo are not much different from their wild ancestors, the great color variation that is exhibited by the domesticated llama differs considerably from their wild ancestors, which were about in color.

The most highly domesticated species have resulted from the planned development of breeds that have certain desirable properties, and the persecution or extermination of the wild ancestors has commonly paralleled this long process of domestication. For example, the spread of domestic cattle throughout the world eventually led to the extinction of its wild counterpart and ancestor, the aurochs.

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Similarly, the ancestral Equus Callas disappeared from the wild following the domestication of the modern horse. Feral forms have evolved for nearly all domesticated species, most notably horses, sheep, goats, dogs and cats.

One example of an animal that some consider to be a feral domestic form and that is exhibited in many zoo collections is the dingo of Australia. Other feral animals that might also be included in zoo collections are the mustang, a breed descended from horses brought to the New World by the Spanish, and Texas longhorn cattle, which were descended from Spanish cattle that had escaped in Mexico.

While wild-caught mustangs are commonly tamed and trained for riding, Texas longhorn cattle are said to be more difficult to maintain in captivity. One approach, of course, is to concentrate on the plight of endangered species and attempt to gain public support for worldwide conservation programs.

An important part of worldwide conservation is protection of endangered species from capture for the pet market as well as from habitat degradation, over-hunting, poisoning or pollution, competition with domestic livestock, etc. One might assume that a citizen that supports conservation efforts also would also refrain from acquiring exotic animals as pets, but this may be an incorrect assumption.

The zoo visitor who would not dream of wearing a leopard coat may have no qualms in acquiring a mar gay cat as a pet and thus unknowingly be contributing to the extinction of an endangered species without even realizing it! Many people today who purchase even legally imported exotic species as pets (e.g., large lizards and snakes) may have no awareness of the toll that commercial harvesting of these species may take on wild populations.

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In these ways, people today may not be much different from Americans a hundred years ago that never questioned where their “buffalo” blankets may be coming from! The need to educate the public about conservation is very great, and zoos are in a unique position to reach people in a very personal way.

An innovative approach to conservation education may be to explain the advantages of domestic animals as pets. Through the long process of domestication, humans have selected animals with certain desirable characteristics.

The single characteristic that comes with successful domestication that is an important requirement for a good pet is docility. There is clearly an advantage in owning a pet that has a low likelihood of harming humans or other animals.

To wild can ids in the zoo collection might emphasize differences as well as similarities in their behavior. Feral domestic animals might play an important role in conservation education.

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