Some people think that zoos are cruel and all the zoos should be closed. However, other people think that zoos are useful to protect the rare animals

Some people think that zoos are cruel & should be closed. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Zoos: Amusement or prison?

What is the need of zoos? Poor animals are captivated in small confinements and treated poorly. They are fed in cages which lead to their inability to learn hunting in the wild. They are caged and kept away from their natural habitat. They are shifted from one place to another quite often which sometimes leads to behavioral disorders in the animals as they have to constantly adapt to new surroundings. If you look at elephants, they move in a herd from one place to another. But in a zoo, they are placed in different cages and are not allowed to move freely. The act of pacing is known to relieve stress in animals and not being able to do so adds to their anxiety. Wild animals live longer than their Zoo counterparts. Not in all zoos animals are treated nicely. They are teased, thrown things at by tourists. In many developing countries, zoo officials are not trained and are just trying to make money to feed their families. Many zoos don’t have the money to keep animals, e.g elephants are expensive to keep.  When these animals are released into the wild, they find it really hard to survive because they have been fed till date having no experience to find their own food.

Then why do we need modern zoos? We need zoos because they play a crucial role in wildlife conservation. With increasing population and deforestation, the wild animals are losing their territory to roam freely and many are on the verge of extinction. With globalisation, zoos have evolved too. Now animals are not caged but provided an environment similar to the wild and are taken care of really well. People get a chance to study animals closely. A lot of injured animals are rescued, given medical attention and released into the wild again once they are fit and healed. Zoos have successfully saved some species from going extinct such as red wolf, California Condor, black footed ferret, Karner blue butterfly freshwater mussels, Arabian oryx, to name a few.

Many animals rights activists argue that zoos should be banned as the rights of the animals are violated. But the fact that zoos have successfully saved many endangered species can’t be ignored.