Animal Captivity: An Argumentative Analysis

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The question of the impact of captivity on animals remains one of the most challenging and controversial over the several decades. Some people disagree that zoos are an important part of animals conservation as they believe sanctuaries in animal's native habitat would bring more positive results as animals suffer from the constant human presence and lack of space. Others argue that zoos provide animals with even better conditions than in the wild and that without zoos many conservation programs would not exist so that for endangered species it is better to live in captivity than become extinct. Both opinions can exist as there are many zoos in the world and their facilities contrast greatly. It is obvious that ill-designed zoos does not serve …show more content…
Ward and Melfi state that interaction with people influence animal productivity decreasing it in the case of negative relationships (2). It mostly concerns the relationships with stockperson, who is a person managing an animal “in a safe, effective and low-stress manner for both stock-keeper and animals involved” (Ward and Melfi 3). The positive interaction with them contribute to the development of animal's positive attitude towards people in whole, and the behavior and mood of stockperson affect animal's behavior more than its own personality (Ward and Melfi 3), that is why it must be taken into consideration. The positive attitude towards animal and overall positive tone and manner can be trained to turn a poor stockperon to a good one (Ward and Melfi 2). It is important for zoo administration to provide such training for their staff as it affects animals' well-being as well as their housing …show more content…
A lot of endangered species were granted a second chance by virtue of its existence, and captive populations continue to grow (Alroy 930). However, the recent research shows that rates of growth have slowed due to the lack of space and necessity to maintain the genetic diversity in a population (Alroy 930). In other words, there is no capacity in modern zoos to maintain the same numbers of population growth as before. Many zoos reduced the number of captive animals to provide more space for individual animals, as, for example, London zoo decreased the number of animals held from 809 to 586 within 41 years (Alroy 930). It does not seem to change the situation but shows the tendency of caring for smaller groups of animals more effectively rather than of larger groups with less impact. John Alroy associates the lack of spaces with the necessity to go through the effort of caring for species that are not endangered or extinct, such as primates, carnivores and ungulates (930). These species are mostly expensive to maintain in captivity (Alroy 930), and it is a waste of money considering there are some animals that have to be protected from the extinction. However, these animals serve as the main drivers of attendance as people visit zoo mostly to see and interact with them, and their interest in a zoo without them may be low thus reducing the funding and decreasing the quality

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