The issue of whether keeping animals in zoos is amoral, and has been widely debated in our communities recently. The treatments of animals at Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary published in The Age have raised a conflict amongst Australians again. Some believe that the presence of zoos is inevitable so as to rescue animals from extinction, whilst others are not in favor of zoos due to the captivity of wildlife. If one was to take into the reason why the conservation is not fully effective, the inappropriate perception about wildlife and the ugly truth of the life in the zoos, then there would be no debate. Australia should not retain animals in zoos.
It has been argued that the conservation programs aim to save endangered species
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Nevertheless, after seeing this argument, there is no way we can agree with what they say. In keeping with Whiting, animals in the zoos seem to be regarded as commodities and that humans are given a justification for “locking them up”. According to the Editorial in The Age (2008), it is clear that animals in zoos are not in their “natural world” no matter how hard zoo authorities try to recreate the original habitats. The animals are living under the conditions that usually alter their behaviours. Therefore, these animals barely reflect what they truly are. Consequently, zoo research is only useful for study for captive animals and is not useful for understanding animals in the wild. Indeed, research conducted in the “artificial environment” is generally not reliable (Whiting).
Zoos are cruel and inadequate for the animals needs. As a matter of fact, we are mammals and so are some species. Thus, confining the animals under metal bars and wire fencing is denying their freedom (Haywood, 2008). This may well mean we are forgoing our right to freedom. On the word of Jassmin, he believes that it is unethical to keep animals in zoos because it is like locking humans in a cage for entertainment and satisfying curiosity (2008). In addition, poor zoo’s treatment can cause serious harm to the animals. A concrete illustration of this is that the mammal’s enclosure size in UK zoos is extremely smaller than the actual habitats in the wild (Whiting).