Zoos Create Controversy Over Animal Needs

Posted on April 4, 2017 by

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Zoos are a controversial topic of late. Much research has been conducted on their ability to care for their animals.  The results are astonishing to some.

Zoos often move animals around if there are a surplus of them in  a particular zoo. This breaks bonds developed between the animals and deteriorates their mental state. The animals lose their social structure that they formed and are forced to form a new one, sometimes in a completely different setting.

“Surplus animals” are occasionally killed if they are not first moved to a different zoo. This act tends to have negative effects. The public is made to think that animals are not endangered when, in fact, they are deteriorating in the wild.

Zoos cannot replicate their animals’ natural habitat. In order to attract visitors, zoos often spend more money on gift shops and food stands rather than on their animals and their environments.

Animals’ arbitrary enclosures lack anything similar to their natural environment. This can be seen at many roadside zoos and parks.  

“Zoos, in my opinion, are a cruel way of making money,” sophomore Melissa Dieda said.

In 2007, a Siberian tiger named Tatiana escaped her enclosure and killed one individual and injured two others before she was fatally shot. Incidents of animals losing their lives at zoos is not uncommon.

At the Virginia Zoo,  a rhinoceros drowned in the moat that was in her enclosure. Another case is that, after escaping from a holding pen, a zebra died from slamming into a fence and shattering her neck. At the same zoo, ten prairie dogs were crushed when their tunnel collapsed on top of them.

According to People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, (PETA), the Oxford University conducted a four-decade study on animal physiological behavior in zoos and found most evidence of stress and mental dysfunction is in animals that are in captivity.

Edith the chimpanzee was sold just after her third birthday to be bartered between many different facilities. She ended up in a concrete pit littered with produce and dog food at the roadside zoo called the Amarillo Wildlife Refuge.

Action against these zoos has been progressing. Many zoos have released their elephants to sanctuaries; however, these zoos are just some that differ from the many that have yet to act.

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Posted in: Morgan Althouse