Why Animals should not be Kept in Zoos?

According to BBC news, 3,000-5,000 healthy animals get killed per year in Europe. Now don’t the other continents as well. Animals are taken from their habitats at any age to be brought into a zoo or aquarium. In their lifespan, it is not uncommon for the animals to get diagnosed with zoochosis. Zoochosis is a repetitive behavioral pattern with no goal which most likely leads to death. Death is not unusual in zoo aquariums. In a Copenhagen zoo, a 2-year-old giraffe was slaughtered to lessen the risk of inbreeding and then fed to lions while the park was still open. Now while animals get rescued, they shouldn’t be put in zoos or aquariums because they don’t live as long as they would in the wild and they get traumatized and act differently.

For instance, spaces are quite limited. A polar bear enclosure is one-millionth the size of its home range. Similarly dolphins, they have one ten thousandths of one percent they would have in their natural environment.  During natural disasters, animals are left to fend for themselves. In the Miami Seaquarium in Florida, during Hurricane Irma, Lolita the orca was left unaccompanied in a naked tank four times less her size with a thin and flimsy rook top. Dolphins and other sea creatures alike were also left behind in vain. Thankfully no animals were hurt during the event. Abnormal behavior is a routine for most animals. Animals pace back and forth, for humans this is a signal of stress. The small spaces do no good for any animal but consider social animals.

These animals need to be able to interact with others but if there are only one or two animals per enclosure then it may lead the animal to depression. One might say that the animals get taken care of, though some will get help others may not, it is a zoo and not an organization for helping animals after all. On the other hand, animals don’t have room to exercise. Exercising is a must for an animal to be healthy. With this in mind, most don’t live as long. As stated above, exercise is vital but in some cases when the animal does not move around frequently, it leads to feet problems and arthritis. In the eyes of the zookeeper, the mammal is then no use for showing purposes which leads to euthanization. The animals perish decades shorter than they would in the wild. Female African elephants live up to 56 years in their native surroundings and only 17 years for zoo born elephants. The endangered Asian elephants live for 42 years in the wild and only 19 in the zoo. For humans and animals alike death can be by obesity/stress and improper diet.

Orcas receive a collapsed dorsal fin from a diet of thawed dead fish. In the free ocean, orcas feed on conscious squid, bird, shark, seal and so much more. Orcas have stressfully eaten at iron bars to escape before. In contrast, one might say that the animals get rescued. As stated by the People of Ethical Treatments for Animals (PETA), “If zoos really wanted to save animals from extinction, they would be helping protect animals’ natural habitats and not keeping them in prisons.” The rescued endangered animals get harmed in the long run. Some zoologists may do scientific research on the animals.

Consequently, animals get traumatized. They don’t do what they would do in the wild. Chimps are known to be playful but the only spirited chimps around are living in the wild, and the chimpanzees who are kept in zoos have over groomed themselves rocked constantly, and are taken for numerous tests. Orcas are peaceful animals in the wild. There has not been one hurt person in the wild but in the aquarium arena, there have been a few incidents. Tilikum (Tilly) has been captive since 1983. Tilly died in January of 2017. During his lifespan of 36 years, he has killed three people. Now, this may be caused by his health issues. In 1991, Keltie Lee Byrne, Tilly, and two other orcas prevented Byrne from getting air while they were performing a stunt.

In 1999, Daniel Dukes died of hypothermia and a bite mark. The latest incident that occurred was in 2010 when Tilikum pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau by her hair causing Brancheau to drown. Animals can be 500 times more deadly when they are captured. As declared on top, zoochosis is indeed common. On the contrary, one might say that bringing in the creatures from the wild is a good thing for scientific research is done and one gets to see unique animals. The animals who get pulled in for investigation are touched with various needles, tubes, and scanners. In February 2015, Odense Zoo located in Copenhagen, Denmark shot, killed, and dissected a healthy 9-month-old lion cub. Their reason for this was to teach younger kids on a field trip. There are multiple incidents similar to this everywhere.

All things considered, animals should not be kept in zoos or aquariums. Their death can be caused by either: lack of space, physical problems, diet, and PTSD. If one could simply stop urging and encouraging zoos then maybe someday animals get to live in the free wild as they please.

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