Few people are lucky enough to see animals such as lions, elephants, and tigers in their natural habitat. There surely can be no experience like it. And certainly, seeing such magnificent animals confined to a zoo is nothing at all like it—and that’s the problem.
It is sometimes hard for people to understand why zoos are so terrible because they do not know the nature and needs of these animals. And the reason for that is simple: It is because zoos do not exist to educate people about these unique animals; they exist as a money-making business.
Zoos do not assist in conserving endangered wildlife because the animals they breed will never have any chance of being released to increase the wild population. They will be kept in cages and enclosures their entire lives, and even if their species becomes extinct in the wild, zoos would still not be able to help save the wild population.
It is important to remember that even animals who have been bred in captivity for generations have natural instincts and needs, including being able to roam freely. In the wild, elephants may travel up to 80 kilometers every day , and lions have a territory of up to 400 kilometers in which they hunt. In a zoo, where they are unable to perform these natural behaviors, animals often show signs of zoochosis, in which they exhibit abnormal and repetitive behaviors.
Conservation projects that help save animals who live in the wild focus on preserving their habitat and protecting them from hunting and poaching. They work to educate the public about the needs of these animals and how we can help preserve their natural environment.
To see an animal held captive in a zoo is truly not to see that animal at all. If you want to learn more about these wonderful beings, you can watch documentaries or read books about how they behave in their natural habitat. To be a friend to animals, you can take the pledge not to support zoos. And if we are very lucky indeed, these animals may survive in the wild for future generations to marvel at, rather than existing only behind bars.
Posted by Claire Fryer