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Are Zoos Good Or Bad

author
Christina Perez
• Friday, 15 January, 2021
• 8 min read

Humans have been capturing and displaying exotic animals for thousands of years. The earliest known collections date back to 3500 BCE in Egypt, where rulers kept hippos, elephants, baboons, and different species of large cats.

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(Source: travelafricamag.com)

Contents

Modern zoos, where the public can come and watch animals exhibiting their natural behavior, didn’t really become a thing until the early 1800s. Zoos may be great entertainment, but their big goal is to educate the public about wildlife and what we can do to protect them.

In addition, zoos work really hard to save animals that are threatened in the wild. Zoos can take at-risk animals, breed them in captivity, and then reintroduce them back into the wild.

What this means is that not all zoos have the resources to properly care for the animals they house. And for many critics, no amount of education or research justifies keeping animals captive.

And while zoos have been really helpful is saving endangered animals, it doesn’t work out for certain species. For example, most large carnivores like lions and tigers that are bred in captivity die when released into the wild.

Every year, millions of people go on safaris, board whale -watching cruises and watch Jeff Cor win get attacked by snakes on Animal Planet; others drive to their local zoo for a full day of animal gazing. Later, in early 13th-century England, Henry III moved his family's royal menagerie to the Tower of London for public viewing.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

For a small fee, visitors would be treated to glimpses of animals like lions, camels and lynxes. And if they brought a dog or cat to feed the lions, they got in for free .

The first modern zoo -- the Imperial Menagerie in Vienna, Austria -- was established in 1752 and continues to attract visitors to this day. Nearby, in Germany, is the world's largest animal collection: Zoo Berlin (formerly The Berlin Zoological Gardens) houses more than 15,000 animals from almost 1,700 species .

All U.S. animal exhibitors, like the 265-acre (107-hectare) Bronx Zoo just a subway ride away from Fifth Avenue, must apply for and receive a license from the Department of Agriculture. Millions of people visit the thousands of zoos around the world, proving that we simply never grow tired of observing wildlife.

Depending on your point of view, though, zoos are either sanctuaries of education and entertainment or unnecessary prisons. While some people argue that zoos play an important role in conservation and research, others counter that they do more harm than good.

Adding another point for zoo pros, the procedure for acquiring animals has also changed. Some breeding programs also help to restore threatened species.

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(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)

After 10 years of working to strengthen the population numbers of the endangered California condor, a type of vulture, the Los Angeles and San Diego zoos were able to rebuild a population of fewer than two dozen birds to around 170 birds . Successful breeding programs brought the Père David's deer back from extinction.

Though this Asian deer ceased to exist in the wild, Chinese and European zoo programs enabled four of the deer to be released back into the wild in 1985, where they're now self-sustaining . The cub, Leo, now spends his time frolicking and chasing small animals that wander into his enclosure .

And although zoo animals aren't treated quite like guests at a four-star hotel, their care has improved tremendously. Zookeepers now understand that many animals, such as monkeys, bears and elephants, need engaging activities to prevent boredom and mental deterioration.

This is why you'll often see chimps playing with toys or tigers “hunting” for a meal. The Toledo Zoo, in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy, is helping to restore butterfly habitats in Ohio, and the Bronx Zoo has channeled more than $3 million toward conservation projects in Central Africa .

The information they gather helps them to develop new medicines and techniques to improve animal health . Beyond the positive impact zoos try to have on animals, they often affect the people visiting as well.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

With a variety of programs geared toward children and adults, zoos teach people about the needs of animals and the importance of conservation. And if people get excited enough, the thinking goes that they'll be more inclined to donate money to conservation efforts -- another zoo pro.

Until the Alaska Zoo finally caved in to public pressure in 2007, Maggie was forced to spend days on end in a small indoor enclosure because of the frigid outside temperatures. Perhaps as a form of protest, she refused to use the elephant-sized treadmill the zoo brought in to encourage her to exercise .

Even in optimal conditions, some experts contend, it's incredibly difficult to provide for the needs of animals like elephants. If Maggie and her captive compatriots lived in the wild, they would wander as much as 30 miles (48 kilometers) a day in large groups, grazing on leaves and stopping to splash in the occasional watering hole.

Zebras at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. starved to death because of insufficient or incorrect food, and the same zoo's red pandas died after ingesting rat poison . And while many zoos, like those in the United States, are supposed to at least meet the minimum requirements spelled out in documents like the Animal Welfare Act, standards aren't always adequate or enforced .

While conditions have improved from the years of bars and cages, detractors take issue with other items. Although the natural-looking habitats are certainly more attractive, people like David Hancock's, a zoo consultant and former zoo director, describe them as mere illusions, arguing that they're not much of an improvement in terms of space .

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(Source: jkay8.wordpress.com)

Indeed, many captive animals exhibit signs of severe distress: People have witnessed elephants bobbing their heads, bears pacing back and forth and wild cats obsessively grooming themselves . Despite a zoo's best efforts, its animals often are deprived of privacy, confined to inadequate spaces and unable to engage in natural hunting and mating activities.

Forced to live in artificial constructs, many animals succumb to what some people refer to as psychosis, the display of obsessive, repetitive behaviors . In addition, many animals have precise needs that zookeepers are just beginning to understand.

Some, like the aardvark, survive on a limited diet that zoos have a hard time fulfilling; others thrive only in certain temperatures and environments that aren't easy to recreate. Of 145 reintroduction programs carried out by zoos in the last century, only 16 truly succeeded in restoring populations to the wild .

According to one study, many visitors don't pay much attention to the animals -- they're actually talking to each other about unrelated things and spending only a few minutes at each display . If you had the communicative power of Dr. Doolittle, Leo leopard would likely tell you that zoos are great; however Maggie the elephant might respond by slapping you with her trunk.

All U.S. animal exhibitors, like the 265-acre (107-hectare) Bronx Zoo just a subway ride away from Fifth Avenue, must apply for and receive a license from the Department of Agriculture. Millions of people visit the thousands of zoos around the world, proving that we simply never grow tired of observing wildlife.

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(Source: thefederalist.com)

Depending on your point of view, though, zoos are either sanctuaries of education and entertainment or unnecessary prisons. While some people argue that zoos play an important role in conservation and research, others counter that they do more harm than good.

After 10 years of working to strengthen the population numbers of the endangered California condor, a type of vulture, the Los Angeles and San Diego zoos were able to rebuild a population of fewer than two dozen birds to around 170 birds . The cub, Leo, now spends his time frolicking and chasing small animals that wander into his enclosure .

And although zoo animals aren’t treated quite like guests at a four-star hotel, their care has improved tremendously. Zookeepers now understand that many animals, such as monkeys, bears and elephants, need engaging activities to prevent boredom and mental deterioration.

The information they gather helps them to develop new medicines and techniques to improve animal health . With a variety of programs geared toward children and adults, zoos teach people about the needs of animals and the importance of conservation.

Until the Alaska Zoo finally caved in to public pressure in 2007, Maggie was forced to spend days on end in a small indoor enclosure because of the frigid outside temperatures. Perhaps as a form of protest, she refused to use the elephant-sized treadmill the zoo brought in to encourage her to exercise .

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(Source: quotesgram.com)

If Maggie and her captive compatriots lived in the wild, they would wander as much as 30 miles (48 kilometers) a day in large groups, grazing on leaves and stopping to splash in the occasional watering hole. And while many zoos, like those in the United States, are supposed to at least meet the minimum requirements spelled out in documents like the Animal Welfare Act, standards aren’t always adequate or enforced .

While conditions have improved from the years of bars and cages, detractors take issue with other items. Indeed, many captive animals exhibit signs of severe distress: People have witnessed elephants bobbing their heads, bears pacing back and forth and wildcats obsessively grooming themselves .

Despite a zoo’s best efforts, its animals often are deprived of privacy, confined to inadequate spaces and unable to engage in natural hunting and mating activities. Forced to live in artificial constructs, many animals succumb to what some people refer to as psychosis, the display of obsessive, repetitive behaviors .

Some, like the aardvark, survive on a limited diet that zoos have a hard time fulfilling; others thrive only in certain temperatures and environments that aren’t easy to recreate. Of 145 reintroduction programs carried out by zoos in the last century, only 16 truly succeeded in restoring populations to the wild .

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Sources
1 trakt.tv - https://trakt.tv/shows/zatch-bell/seasons/3
2 www.msn.com - https://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/rf-watch-online/tv-shows/zatch-bell/season-3
3 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Zatch_Bell!_episodes_(Season_3)