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Are zoos ethical or not?

Are zoos ethical or not? Topic: Are zoos ethical or not?
June 16, 2019 / By Ariadne
Question: I'm writing a paper about whether zoos are ethical or not. i need some reasons why they are good and bad.
Best Answer

Best Answers: Are zoos ethical or not?

Zalmon Zalmon | 5 days ago
Unless you want numerous endangered species to become extinct, keeping animals in captivity is nothing short of essential. Many endangered animals - for example, the golden lion tamarin, red wolf and Przewalski's horse - would already be extinct without captive breeding. I am not for a moment suggesting that we should stop trying to protect animals' natural habitats, but if endangered species were to become extinct in the wild (which sadly seems quite likely in the near future), zoos will have preserved them for future generations, with enough genetic diversity that the possibility for reintroduction to the wild exists. In my opinion it would be unforgivable to allow tigers, pandas and so on to become extinct because they were wiped out in the wild due to hunting, habitat loss, etc., and people did not want to see them in captivity. Would you like to have explain to your children or grandchildren that they will never see a tiger except in pictures, because you disagreed with zoos? I certainly wouldn't. Zoos are also vital for education, enabling people to see beautiful wild animals that they would never otherwise get to see - seeing an animal in the flesh has a much greater impact than seeing one in a picture or on TV. - and teaching them about the threats to their species, which hopefully encourages them to respect and protect animals. The money they bring in is used to pay for the animals' food and care and to fund breeding programmes, as well as the employees' wages. Some also goes towards funding the protection of animals in the wild, and their habitats. It's true that captive conditions in the past were often cruel, the animals being kept in cramped cages and so on, and indeed this is sometimes still the case in some countries, but in civilised countries zoos are carefully regulated - the animals are kept in conditions as close as possible to their natural habitat, with plenty of space, good diets and immediate medical care if they need it. Everything possible is done to ensure that they don't get bored - environmental enrichment is found in all good zoos. The animals will have scenery in their enclosure, things to play with if they're a playful species, and problems to solve in order to get their food, rather than it just being dropped in front of them. Zoos that do not come up to standard are shut down. Animals that are trained to perform tricks, or even just to raise a paw or open their mouth so that a vet can examine them without needing to knock them out, are trained with kindness, not cruelty. They are rewarded when they do what the trainer wants, but never punished for not doing it. It certainly isn't cruel or 'demeaning' to train animals like this - it keeps their minds active to be learning new things, and obviously it's better for them not to be sedated every time a vet needs to look at them. It's also important to remember that animals are not taken from the wild and 'locked up in cages'. Animals in zoos are captive-bred - they were born in captivity, as were their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on. They have known nothing else, and have no idea such a thing as the wild exists, so there is no way they can miss it. They are certainly not unhappy - if they were, zoos would not achieve the breeding success they do (unhappy or unhealthy animals do not breed). It is overly anthropomorphic to say things like 'they will never know freedom'. Freedom is a human concept - of course a human kept in one place would be miserable, but we have knowledge of the wider world outside. Animals don't - they have no knowledge of abstract concepts or things outside their own experience. They have no idea what freedom is, or that there is any other life than the one they lead. A lion in a zoo doesn't sit there thinking: "I could be in Africa hunting a wildebeest right now." It doesn't know what Africa is, or what wildebeest are. As long as an animal has a comfortable place to live, enough food, and the right company if it's a social species, it is content. To say they are being deprived of a 'happy life in the wild' shows a complete lack of understanding of nature. Life in the wild is hard - every day is a struggle for survival, a battle against constant dangers. A wild animal must fight others of its kind for mates or territory, risking injury that could lead to death by infection or starvation if it prevents them getting food. They are subject to catching diseases that may cause them to suffer for long periods before dying. Prey species are at risk of being eaten every single day. Predators are at risk of starving if they can't catch their prey, or of being killed while trying to catch it if the prey animal is potentially dangerous. There are also things like drought, habitat loss, and being shot or trapped by humans who want to eat them, wear their skins, hang their heads on a wall, etc. An animal in a zoo has to worry about none of these things. It has all the food and water it needs, a safe and secure place to live, a suitable mate provided, and medical attention if it is hurt or sick. Animals in captivity live much longer than their wild counterparts - twice or even three times as long in some cases.
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Zalmon Originally Answered: all about zoos?
Well..the Irwin's started their own zoological facility back in the 70s that now is the Australia Zoo, so this isn't an undreamable dream. I don't know about zoning permits, but I know there are many regulating laws relating to animal care and use for example, 7USC and 9CFR (if you're in the USA). There are high standards concerning animal care, and achieving these standards is going to take millions, if not billions, of dollars... Another route you could take is to look towards becoming a curator of mammals at an already established zoo. however, this job is hard work: you'd be primarily responsible for the long-range management of the department and its daily operations. This position maintains regular communication with the Supervisor of Mammals and Animal Care Specialists in order to stay informed of the state of health of all the mammals in the collection. Changes in individual animals' diets are also noted in consultations with the mammal and veterinary staffs. Curators use their in-depth knowledge of mammals to develop and manage breeding programs and to help create and maintain studbooks for the long-term propagation of species to ensure their genetic viability. Curators are responsible for the creation and implementation of behavioral enrichment programs for the animals in the collection, helping to create an environment that is physically and mentally stimulating for the animals. Assisting with the concept development and design new animal exhibits, curators work with the contractors during the construction process.

Sib Sib
I think it depends on the zoo. If a zoo is only out for the money and does not take the time to update their facility to make it better for the animals or contribute anything towards conservation then no. Shut them down and fast. If the zoo actually cares about the animals and is always updating to make things better and assist with conservation (money, time, etc) or assist with rehab and release or breed and release programs then they are a-ok in my book. A zoo in my books is pointless if they do nothing for conservation and education. HOWEVER, everyone has a different idea of what is and is not ethical so everyone is going to have a different response. Its a matter of right vs wrong but that is different from person to person.
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Odran Odran
If you ask a PETA person, they will say NO. They feel it is better that the animal live free in its natural habitat until it is extinct rather then be cooped up in a zoo. If you ask me - I say they are ethical. I would love to see animals live in their natural habitat. However, since humans are destroying their natural habitats at an alarming rate, it is our responsibility to take care of those that remain so that they are not wiped out. I don't understand how PETA can justify destroying natural habitats and then just letting the animals die out. That is sinful. Zoos years ago were not very good. Animals kept in tiny cages. They got bored and sick. I saw a documentary once of this gorilla who had been in this concrete cage for 30 years. They built a beautiful outside exhibit for him and some lady friends that were being brought in. It showed him sitting in the concrete cage just looking out at the rain. It took him awhile before he would venture out but once he did, he never went back in. I was bawling like crazy. Nowdays, however, the research that goes into building and maintaning zoos is amazing. The habitats are now set up where different species of animals live together just like they would in their natural habitat. The zookeepers are always going to conventions to learn better ways, etc. We have three exhibits in our EcoStation that are set up via computer to simulate the light and temperature of each Biome where the animals lived. So if you go in at 3:00 AM, the time and temp would be like it would be in Australia at that time of day and year. Water systems are constantly filtered. Plants are monitored so that nothing is poisionous. The dietary kitchen is something to see.
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Larry Larry
Private zoos are ethical and have only rescued animals, injured animals or are participating in conservation of a species and educate the public body. Zoo organizations don't rip animals out of their natural habitat. I'm not including Sea World in this. I have connections with a private zoo and know a lot about how they receive their animals.
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Larry Originally Answered: For or Against animals in zoos?
I am 100% for zoos. In today's world, they are nothing short of essential. Their main function is conservation. Without captive breeding, many endangered species would now be extinct - for example, the golden lion tamarin, red wolf and Przewalski's horse. I am not for a moment suggesting that we should stop trying to protect animals' natural habitats, but if endangered species were to become extinct in the wild (which sadly seems quite likely in the near future), zoos will have preserved them for future generations, with enough genetic diversity that the possibility for reintroduction to the wild exists. In my opinion it would be unforgivable to allow tigers, pandas and so on to become extinct because they were wiped out in the wild due to hunting, habitat loss, etc., and people did not want to see them in captivity. Would you like to have explain to your children or grandchildren that they will never see a tiger except in pictures, because you disagreed with zoos? I certainly wouldn't. Zoos are also vital for education, enabling people to see beautiful wild animals that they would never otherwise get to see, and teaching them about the threats to their species, which hopefully encourages them to respect and protect animals. The money they bring in is used to pay for the animals' food and care and to fund breeding programmes, as well as the employees' wages. Some also goes towards funding the protection of animals in the wild, and their habitats. It's true that captive conditions in the past were often cruel, the animals being kept in cramped cages and so on, and indeed this is sometimes still the case in some countries, but in civilised countries zoos are carefully regulated - the animals are kept in conditions as close as possible to their natural habitat, with plenty of space, good diets and immediate medical care if they need it. Everything possible is done to ensure that they don't get bored - environmental enrichment is found in all good zoos. The animals will have scenery in their enclosure, things to play with if they're a playful species, and problems to solve in order to get their food, rather than it just being dropped in front of them. It's also important to remember that animals are not taken from the wild and 'locked up in cages'. Animals in zoos are captive-bred - they were born in captivity, as were their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on. They have known nothing else, and have no idea such a thing as the wild exists, so there is no way they can miss it. They are certainly not unhappy - if they were, zoos would not achieve the breeding success they do (unhappy or unhealthy animals do not breed). One might even argue that they are better off in captivity, since they do not have to contend with the constant dangers of the wild - disease, injury, predation, starvation, etc.

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