Wild Animals Should Not Be Kept Inside a Zoo
We all love animals, don’t we? The last thing you would want to do would be to hurt an innocent animal. Although we do not consciously realize it, by keeping animals in zoos and aquariums we are actually hurting them. This is because there are many dark things that the people aren’t aware of happening within the walls of these institutions. Thus, we should stop visit zoos and aquariums due to their lack of educational purpose, stimulate animals to develop mental disorders, and failed attempts at animal conservation.
Remember that time when you visited the zoo when you were little? Can you recall any facts that you learned from the visit? Probably not. Even though there are large exhibit signs within zoos and aquariums, most people ignore them. The Capacity Animals’ Protection Society states, “83% of the UK public aquarium visitors do not read the contents of live exhibit signs except [perhaps] the animals’ names. [Furthermore, it states that], “a whopping 95% of the visitors don’t read anything at all.”(Suffering Deep Down).
This information illustrates that most people do not read or learn from the exhibit signs, which do not achieve their educational purpose. While, the purpose of going to zoos and aquariums is to entertain oneself, which is at the expense of the captive animals. It is already bad enough that zoos and aquariums aren’t actually educational, but it’s even worse that many of these institutions give false information to its visitors. Liz Tyson, the CAPS’s Director, once said, “One of the self-proclaimed “best” zoos in the UK is simply making up information as they go along…” (CAPS). This quote shows that zoos give wrong information to visitors; therefore, even if visitors read the exhibit signs or listen to a tour, he or she may not learn anything. To conclude, by visiting zoos and aquariums will not gain factual knowledge since no one reads the exhibit signs or provided with real information regarding these creatures.
Think about it: what if people put you in a glass cage or a small quarter for 24 hours? You will soon become bored and start to go crazy. This is what animals experience too, due to the minimalist size and characteristics of animal enclosures, this often results in animals developing Abnormal Repetitive Behavior (ARB). ARB is a developed mental behavior, which induces acts such as self-mutilation, and most commonly pacing or circling. In animal terminology, these actions are known as stereotypes. A New Scientist report titled “No Way Out” says, “An estimated 80 million captive animals worldwide perform bizarre, repetitive rituals.”
Moreover, studies made by the Captive Animals’ Protection Society show that, “the vast majority (90%) of public aquariums in the UK keep animals that show stereotypic behavior [, which is] repeatedly turning on one side and rubbing one flank on the substrate or on any other surface.” (Suffering Deep Down). This is a behavior like self-mutilation; fishes or mammals developed this behavior due to small enclosures and lack of exercising. Studies have also shown that sea mammals need to swim up at least 100 miles per days, and animals kept in captivity cannot achieve the amount of exercise needed for a healthy lifestyle. (Whale and Dolphin Conservation). All in all, animals develop abnormal repetitive behavior due to the lack of movement, as they are confined to a small dwelling space.
In addition, many people believe zoos and aquariums breed the animals themselves or “save” the animals from the wild. Zoos and aquariums “claim to exist” that they are conserving animals. However, according to the research from the Captive Animals’ Protecting Society “98.2% of the animals kept in UK public aquaria do not belong to species classed as threatened by the IUCN [, a world conservation union]” and ” 79% of the estimated animals present in UK public aquaria are wild-caught in origin” (Suffering Deep Down). These data clearly show that they do not breed the animals by themselves, instead capturing innocent animals from the wild.
Additionally, many zoos and aquariums kill unwanted animals caused by lack of living spaces for other animals. According to Harry Schram, “the executive director of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, said he was unconcerned about zoos killing healthy animals and selling them for stuffing.” (Schram). Schram’s statement illustrates these institution do not help conserving animals, and they even kill animals and sell them to earn more money and clearing up spaces. Most surprisingly, under the care of zoos and aquariums “more than 3,850 sea lions, seals, dolphins and whales have died under human care, many of them young.
Of nearly 3,000 whose ages could be determined, a quarter died before they reached 1, half by the age of 7.” (Sun Sentinel). This explains that many animals, which live in the zoos and aquariums, cannot live for a long time under the incomprehensive care of zoos and aquariums. In conclusion, zoos and aquariums lie about conserving animals, instead, they kill unwanted animals and sell them in order to make up more spaces and money.
However, opponents for this topic think zoos and aquariums do a great job on contributing educational purpose and conserving animals. Opponents think that many people who live in the city, especially children, they can only see animals on television or the Internet. “Zoos offer them the unique experience of contemplating real animals. They can smell them, see how they move and listen their sounds.
This is a much more vivid and enriching experience than the one you can get through a screen.” (Netivist). By visiting zoos and aquariums can help children and adults learn efficiently. Moreover, a member of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says “zoos and aquariums demonstrate humane treatment of animals by not only meeting animals’ physical needs, but also by providing safe and appropriate social groupings of animals, and by using positive reinforcement methods to train animals as necessary to allow for facilitating medical procedures.” (ASPCA). People believe zoos and aquariums capture endanger animals is to help them, not to harm them.
In conclusion, people should stop visiting zoos and aquariums because, first, lack of educational purpose. Zoos and aquariums give out false information on the exhibit sign. Second, tiny enclosed spaces and few exercising cause animals develop mental and physical disorder. Last, zoos and aquariums lie about conserving animals; they capture animals from the wild instead of breeding by themselves. All in all, people should stop visit zoos and aquariums.