Why Zoos Are Bad For Animals


Zoos across the country play a huge part in our tourism industry. But the question must be raised as to whether the concept of a zoo is a humane way of showcasing animals. Taking an animal out of the wild and confining it to a small space is an unnatural practice; one that should be banned in every country across the world.

Why is a zoo unnatural?

A lot of factors make up an animal’s natural habitat and each one of these factors plays a huge role in the satisfaction of that animal. Things like weather conditions, hunting, and exercise are all important parts of an animal’s life. To change or remove any of these is cruel. Let us look at some of these.

  • Climate: Animals have adapted to certain climates and are more comfortable in those climates than anywhere else. There is a reason you will not find a polar bear in Africa, or a kangaroo in Italy.
  • Feeding: Hunting is a part of a lion’s instinct and cannot be replaced with chunks of beef being fed to it. Other animals find satisfaction in foraging because it settles their natural inclination to do so.
  • Space: Having adequate space is an obvious drawback for animals in zoos. It restricts exercise and may frustrate the animals being confined.
  • Relationships and hierarchy: A bunch of baboons usually travel in packs of 40 or more. Taking some of them out of nature and putting them in a cage with 5 or less others takes away the animal’s natural ability to form relationships and establish a hierarchy.

Does it depend on the animal?

Some may argue that certain animals cope better with being confined than others. For instance, keeping penguins in a zoo may be seen as less of an adjustment than for a grizzly bear. However we must take into account that every type of animal has its own unique identity and should not be treated differently because of its species.

What are better zoo alternatives?

A suggestion that could be considered to replace the orthodox idea of a zoo is to create dedicated acclimatized environments for specific animals only. Instead of having different types of animals in one zoo, we could create a lion park or a penguin sanctuary. This way, the animal will have lots of space, feel free to eat or hunt the way it was designed to, and can still be observed in its natural habitat.

In short, zoos should be considered to be bad because they have become money-making entities at the expense of animals’ respective identities.

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