Research Paper On Zoos

Decent Essays
Where the Wild Things Shouldn’t be A family decides to go to the local zoo and have a nice day together. They pay for tickets, contributing to the zoo’s yearly 17.2 billion dollars. They buy lunch, laugh at the penguins swimming in their enclosure. Then the family continues on, fighting through the crowds so that the kids can see the pacing polar bear. They spend an hour in line to get an up close look at the pair of leopards, only to see them rip out their own fur. However, the family brushes all of this off. Because it’s just animals being animals, right? Wrong. All three occurrences, the polar bear pacing to and fro in its cage, the penguins spending all day in the water, the leopards removing their hair, are telltale signs of animals in …show more content…
Take, for example, lions, tigers, and most bears. Tigers and lions both have over 18,000 times less space than what they would normally have in the wild. Polar, used to the vast expanses of the arctic, have over 1,000,000 times less space. Being kept in an enclosure that much smaller than accustomed to can put an immense amount of stress on the poor animals, and often even leads to death. Captive polar bears and polar bears often spend hours at a time simply pacing their cage, as was stated in a Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS) article. In the print it is also said that clouded leopards have been observed plucking out their own fur. This activity is believed to be caused do to the lack of space to roam freely. It is an action often seen in stressed, depressed, or bored animals, informed a 2003 article on Sciencemag.org, who spoke of similar behaviors amongst zoo animals. “Zookeepers have long recognized that some species thrive in captivity while others languish.” the ScienceMag article announced. “Zoos are [just] too small for some species.” This topic has been addressed by thousands of magazines and newspapers, The Times News even posting an article about it, stating similar information to that listed above. Yet why has nothing been done? For years now it has been accepted; no zoo can provide enough space for its animals to be …show more content…
As quoted in a February Today’s News article from last year, “While success stories abound, most wildlife biologists consider SSP [American Species Survival Plan] programs to be works in progress. AZA [Association of Zoos and Aquariums] zoos have been instrumental, for instance, in establishing a stable population of Bongos, a threatened forest antelope native to Africa, through captive breeding programs under the SSP program. Many of these captive-bred Bongos have subsequently been released into the wild and have helped bolster the dwindling population numbers accordingly.” And although all of that is true, a write-up on OneGreenPlanet.org shared in 2014 countered, announcing that captive-bred animals rarely breed with their wild counterparts. The article cited a study by the Royal Society Journal, in which they said that in an experiment performed with mice, only 17 percent of the offspring were from a captive-wild pairing. So are these zoo breeding programs even worth it? Obviously it can’t be argued that they’re beneficial for the population of dying species, but once released into the wild those captive-bred animals might never even interact with the wild ones. Zoos are abusive, cruel environments for animals. Most creatures locked up in zoos never even get a glimpse of the wild, instead staring through

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