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Do We Still Need Zoos?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADid you know that zoos were originally set up so that people could see, learn and care more about wild animals from distant lands?  However, in today’s world, many people disagree, claiming that zoos are no longer necessary. Yet, this topic is of vital importance because of its world-wide effect on so many different animals and species.

Since people can now see wild animals in their natural habitat simply by tuning in to a TV programme or buying a DVD, the vast majority of animal rights’ activists state that zoos are out of date! Some even suggest; they are not needed at all. Additionally, some argue that it is cruel to capture animals, transport them long distances, and then keep them caged up, simply for the entertainment of human beings. Many of these people would also argue that captive animals often have ‘zoochosis’ – strange behaviour like rocking or swaying – which might mean that animals are bored or desperately unhappy.

On the other hand, supporters of zoos would argue there is a huge difference between watching an animal on screen and seeing it in real life. Moreover, it could be said that visiting a zoo is educational because it can make people care more about wildlife and conservation.  Furthermore, many wildlife experts believe that sometimes the only way to save an endangered species may be to breed it in captivity. Behind the scenes, zoos also give scientists a chance to learn more about animal behaviour because they can study them closely. In addition, modern zoos are carefully designed to ensure that they provide animals with generously-sized enclosures which meet all of their needs. Many animals are therefore content.

Looking at this from both sides, there are positive and negative factors to each argument. Personally it seems to me, that there are still good reasons for keeping zoos in the world. I strongly believe that zoos should however, be carefully planned with the animals’ welfare in mind: in the modern world, surely you would agree? There is no excuse for keeping animals in cramped or cruel conditions.  Zoos can be a wonderful opportunity for us to learn, observe and enjoy wildlife- from gorillas to tarantulas. Visit one and enjoy!

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