Are Zoos Good or Bad for Animals?

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Are Zoos Good or Bad for Animals?

Miles Ullrich, Staff

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Are Zoos Good or Bad for Animals?

Do you think zoos are good or bad? They have several benefits for the animals they keep and have saved many from going extinct, but some zoos also treat their animals badly and don’t give them nearly enough space to live in. A recent survey I conducted here at Diegueno shows that 3 out of 4 people think zoos are currently bad and 1 out of 4 people think zoos are currently good. Maddison Hofmann, a 7th grader, thinks that zoos are bad for animals because she thinks animals belong “out in the open instead of in cages.” Andre Sabouri though, thinks that zoos are good for animals because people have destroyed animals natural habitat so they need a new home, zoos.

Zoos are beneficial in some ways to animals because they have the potential to educate people about animals and make them want to assist in preserving animal habitats. Also, many menageries research animals to gather information that can aid them in learning more about animal behavior, illnesses and how to cure them. Furthermore, most wildlife parks provide comfort and protection for their animals that would not be available in the wild. Finally, zoos have saved multiple animals from going extinct, including, but not limited to, the Arabian oryx, the California condor, and the golden lion tamarin.

Zoos can also harm animals, though. For one, zoos aren’t able to provide sufficient space for animals to live in. In zoos, animals such as tigers and lions have 18,000 times less space to live in than in the wild. Also, after a few generations of living in zoos, animals lose their instincts and are no longer able to live in the wild. Lots of zoos also fail education, which is a major reason as to why zoos argue they shouldn’t be shut down. A study found that 41% of the aquariums in the UK fail to provide signs identifying the species in the tank, which is the most basic information a zoo or aquarium could even provide. Finally, animals die prematurely in zoos. African Elephants in the wild can live up to 3 months longer than ones that are kept in zoos.

Now that you have information from both sides of the argument; what do you think? Are zoos good? Or are they bad? Elizabeth Konaka’s opinion on the matter is that zoos could be good if they made a few changes. These changes include making bigger habitats for the animals.

 

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