Are Zoos Good For Animals? Argument For And Against Zoos


A zoo is a location where caged animals are displayed for human viewing. If you are wondering “Are zoos good for animals?” we are here to present you the truth. Well, zoos are focused on showing as many unique species as possible—often in small, cramped spaces—most current zoos’ primary goal is conservation and teaching. While zoo advocates and conservationists argue that zoos save endangered species and educate the public, many animal rights activists believe that the cost of confining animals outweighs the benefits and that violating individual animals’ rights—even in the name of preventing extinction—can not be justified. So, let’s know a brief history of zoos, before jumping right into the are zoos good for animals topic.

Are Zoos Good For Animals- A Brief History Of Zoos

are zoos good for animals
Are Zoos Good For Animals? Argument For And Against Zoos

For thousands of years, humans have maintained wild animals. Around 2500 BCE, monarchs in Mesopotamia and Egypt began keeping wild and exotic animal collections for non-utilitarian purposes in enclosed cages. Modern zoos emerged throughout the 18th century and the Age of Enlightenment when scientific interest in zoology and the study of animal behavior and anatomy grew.

Arguments For Are Zoos Good For Animals

  • Zoos educate the public and promote respect for different species by bringing people and animals together.
  • Zoos preserve endangered animals by relocating them to a secure location where they are safe from poachers, habitat degradation, hunger, and predators.
  • Many zoos have endangered species breeding programmes. These individuals may have difficulty finding partners and reproducing in the wild, and species may become extinct.
  • The Association of Zoos and Aquariums holds reputable zoos to rigorous standards for the welfare of its resident animals. According to AZA, certification ensures that the organisation has been subjected to a rigorous examination by acknowledged specialists to assure the highest standards of animal management and care, including living conditions, social groupings, health, and nutrition.
  • A good zoo provides an enriching environment in which the animals are never bored, are properly cared for, and have ample room.
  • Zoos are a tradition, and going to the zoo is a fun family activity, an answer for who asks are zoos good for animals.
  • Seeing an animal in person is a far more intimate and lasting experience than watching it in a nature documentary, and it is more likely to create a compassionate attitude toward animals.
  • Some zoos assist in the rehabilitation of animals and accept exotic pets that people no longer desire or are able to care for.
  • The federal Animal Welfare Act, which defines standards for animal care, governs both licenced and unaccredited animal exhibitors.

Arguments Against Zoos

  • Humans do not have the right, under animal rights law, to breed, capture, and confine other creatures, even if those species are endangered. Individual animals should not be denied rights because they are members of an endangered species.
  • Captive animals suffer from boredom, stress, and confinement. Are zoos good for animals?, no matter how compassionate, and no drive-through safari can compete with the freedom of the wild.
  • Visitors and money are brought in by newborn animals, yet the urge to produce additional young animals leads to overpopulation. Surplus animals are sold to circuses and hunting establishments in addition to other zoos. Some zoos just slaughter their surplus animals.
  • When individuals are sold or traded to other zoos, intergenerational ties are destroyed.
  • The great majority of captive breeding operations do not allow animals to be released back into the wild. The children are inextricably linked to the cycle of zoos, circuses, petting zoos, and the exotic pet trade, which buys, sells, barters, and otherwise abuses animals. For example, an Asian elephant named Ned was born in a licenced zoo, but he was subsequently taken from an abusive circus trainer and placed in a sanctuary.
  • Individual specimens being removed from the outdoors endangers the wild population because the surviving individuals will be less genetically varied and may have a more difficult time finding mates. It is extremely difficult to maintain species variety inside captive breeding facilities.
  • People who wish to view wild animals in person can do so by observing wildlife in the wild or visiting a refuge. (A genuine sanctuary does not buy, sell, or breed animals; instead, it accepts abandoned exotic pets, excess zoo animals, or damaged wildlife that can no longer live in the wild.)
  • The federal Animal Welfare Act sets just the most basic requirements for cage size, housing, health care, ventilation, fencing, food, and water. Enclosures, for example, must give enough room for each animal to make typical postural and social changes while yet allowing for enough movement. Evidence of hunger, poor health, debility, stress, or aberrant behaviour patterns may suggest a lack of room.
  • Animals occasionally escape from their cages, putting themselves and others at risk. Similarly, people disregard warnings or inadvertently go too near to animals, resulting in tragic results. Harambe, a 17-year-old western lowland gorilla, was shot in 2016 when a youngster fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. The youngster survived and was not seriously harmed, but the gorilla was slain.

Are Zoos Good For Animals? Where Zoos Go In The Future?

cheetah near chain link fence
Are Zoos Good For Animals? Argument For And Against Zoos

However, zoos are not without flaws. Should they keep huge predators or intellectual primates in captivity? Probably not in the next several decades. Should huge new creatures be caught in the wild? No, unless a strong argument can be shown for developing a captive breeding program. But how are zoos adapting and evolving? Yes! Good zoos are more conscious than ever of their changing role in conservation and are responding to it.

Would I prefer to have a species in captivity than none at all? Yes, a hundred times. We don’t require hasty replies to catastrophic occurrences.

Conclusion On Are Zoos Good For Animals

When arguing for or against zoos, both sides say that they save animals. Zoos generate money whether or if they assist the animal community. Zoos will remain as long as there is a need for them. Since zoos are almost certainly unavoidable, the best way to proceed is to ensure that zoo conditions are as good as possible for the animals that live in captivity and that individuals who violate animal care, health, and safety regulations are not only punished but also denied future access to animals.

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