Many of us have been to a zoo at least once in our lives before. Zoos are premises for the captivity of animals, where they are studied and displayed for the public to see. Have you ever stopped to think of the trauma that the animal went through while being taken from its family and its home, to be locked behind a cage for the rest of his life? Do you remember leaving the zoo that day knowing a whole lot more about animals than you did before? Although zoos can be fun to visit, in reality, zoos go against the natural way an animal should be living and therefore, animals should not be kept in captivity. We all have the right to be free. It’s hard for us to imagine being taken away from our parents to a whole new environment, to live behind bars or in a small tank or enclosure for the rest of our lives. This happens every day to many wild animals and it’s not right. Some people say that animals in zoos are well looked after and are happy, but wild animals need their freedom, and don’t enjoy captivity.
No matter how well their keepers care for them, many suffer because from stress, anxiety, depression or even an eating disorder because of their improper diet. The lifespan of a mammal is also 2-3 times higher in the wild than in captivity. Animals kept in captivity also don’t develop many of the basic skills of hunting, mating and surviving out in the wild. Although there are some zoos where animals (endangered species) are taken from the wild to protect those, studies have shown that only 2% of the world’s 6,000 threatened or endangered species were registered in zoo breeding programs. So, in reality, zoos actually do very little to help save the world’s endangered animals. Zoos are very large businesses used to attract the public to make money. Although many zoos claim to educate the general public about their animals, it is hard to see how looking at caged animals can teach us anything about their lives in the wild.
Zoos have birds that cannot fly, and tigers who cannot hunt. They are taken from their natural habitat and way of life and instead, are being drugged with antidepressants and antibiotics in order to get them ready to perform in a show. Dolphins are forced to do tricks in order for the entertainment of the audience and this is not natural for them in the wild. Orca’s do not kill in the wild and are usually very friendly creatures, but, many years ago at SeaWorld, Tilikum, an orca, killed three trainers because of the constant stress and anxiety she was under. She was forced to perform eight times a day, seven times a week and this is what caused her to lash out. Many animals don’t get the freedom they deserve at zoos and become a source of entertainment to generate money instead. As you can see, animals kept in captivity aren’t always as happy as you think they would be and are mostly there for our personal entertainment. I believe animals shouldn’t be treated any different than humans and should not be forced to do anything out of their will, like perform endless hours or trapped behind bars and small tanks. Zoos go against an animal’s natural way of life and this is why animals should not be kept in captivity.