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Show Of Hands December 22nd, 2016 10:15am

Is the act of keeping animals in zoos unethical?

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Mattlajoie Georgia
12/29/16 11:32 am

Sometimes it's the only way to preserve some species

12/28/16 8:17 pm

I said no because it's an opportunity to learn about them close up to help preserve them in nature

Tekaishi Average Joe
12/26/16 10:38 pm

Some animals are happy being domesticated. But you can obviously tell some animals are miserable in zoos and parks.

Krystina Let Freedom Reign
12/23/16 8:12 pm

Depends on the situation. But in many cases, they're rescues or are being kept from extinction. Regardless of the reasons for any animal being in a zoo though, I think the most important things are that they have habitats that match as closely as possible to their habitats in the wild and that they have the proper amount of companionship.

ladyniner81 extremists are a cancer
12/23/16 12:44 pm

Zoos are keeping endangered species alive. Instead of them being poached to extinction by humans, they're being studied and bred to survive.

TreeHugs Oregon
12/23/16 12:02 pm

For highly intelligent species, yes it is. Certainly it depends on the zoo, but they are still locked up.

Wonder why apes tend to throw their feces in zoos just like human prisoners often do?

Henry123 Connecticut
12/24/16 11:14 am

Apes do that in real life not in captivity... and where do you hear of human inmates throwing shit everywhere? And often at that?

osouless Whats Next
12/23/16 6:46 am

Yes, unless those animals are endangered and we're trying to repopulate them.

singkitty In the cloud
12/23/16 5:45 am

They can be and in the past they often were, but today most of the animals have been bred in captivity or rescued from private owners who have no clue how to properly care for exotic animals. These animals can't survive in the wild so it would be cruel to take them back to the wild. Zoos today educate the public and the animals are well cared for. St Louis has a beautiful free zoo. The sea lions are my favorite and the most interactive.

Casper Deep inthe Heart ofTexas
12/22/16 9:25 pm

I frequently have trouble understanding other people's definition of the word.

How's it unethical to raise animals in cages or to preserve their genetics, or study them or promote public interest in their wellbeing?

elusive Sactown
12/22/16 8:50 pm

Personally I don't think animals are here for our entertainment. But they can be valuable for maintaining endangered species populations.. I think. I have no research to support that though.

12/22/16 8:16 pm

Not if properly treated. If it weren't for zoos and natural preserves, many of the species would be extinct.

IEatzCookies Alderaan
12/22/16 7:03 pm

The animals are often given much better lives

bobbyjindal3 Michigan
12/22/16 5:29 pm

If the Animal is endangered than it's ok but if it's not then no.

raywygo Pittsburgh
12/22/16 3:50 pm

A lot of times zoos save animals from becoming endangered. Like pandas.

cyanospool The Deep North
12/22/16 3:49 pm

Not necessarily. If they're rescues, it's more ethical to rehabilitate them if you have the means than to not. But the issue is that many zoos do not actually have the means as we learn more and more about the complexities of each species' habitats and social dynamics. And in a lot of cases it's impossible to fulfill some animals' needs from within a zoo. This is becoming an issue with elephants especially because of the vast distances the need to travel daily in order to maintain healthy bone/joint function as well as mental stimulation. So I wouldn't say zoos are unethical, but they are inherently un-ideal.

MrWalrus Undergrid
12/22/16 3:26 pm

A lot of animals in zoos are rescued animals and would probably be dead if it were not for those zoos. Some zoos rehab animals so that they can be released back into the wild. I enjoy going to zoos and seeing animals that otherwise would not have seen in the wild.

BrandoBourassa New Mexico
12/22/16 3:07 pm

Zoos have been my life and the focus of my career for about 12 years now. There are accrediting institutions such as the AZA and WAZA that have strict requirements for husbandry and conservation. If they have one of these accreditations, you can bet on the fact that the animals are well cared for and that the zoo is participating in conservation. The sad fact of the matter is that, in many cases, zoos are going to be the last place to see much of the biodiversity on Earth. We are annihilating species at an unprecedented rate, and it is only going to get worse now that we have an anti-science, anti-environment administration taking over. If you don't support zoos, you are on the wrong side. Animal rights groups are well-intentioned, for the most part, but they are severely misinformed and ignorant when it comes to conservation science.

lightsabr2 The Big Sky
12/22/16 1:44 pm

So long as it's enough space, zoos are great. Their conservation and research efforts improve and sometimes save entire species.

CAModerate California
12/22/16 1:10 pm

It absolutely is. This is my one "lefty" feeling.

12/22/16 12:30 pm

The animals get free food and get to lounge around all day.

cyanospool The Deep North
12/22/16 3:52 pm

Most animals are not built to "lounge" all day every day.

bnnt Los Angeles
12/22/16 12:19 pm

Some larger animals kept captive - perhaps.
But zoos these days do a great job with breeding programs, reentry into the wild, conservation, and just overall awareness.

taumpy Massachusetts
12/22/16 12:10 pm

As others have said, it depends on the condition. Traditional zoos and menageries are certainly unethical. But modern ones that try to better mimic the animals natural habitat aren't necessarily.

valeriejo ramble on
12/22/16 11:11 am

I think it depends on the animal and the treatment and quality of life.. it can actually be beneficial if it's done humanely. I'm more worried about the 2 ton orcas being kept in pools. That's abuse.

TheDoN Tricities, WA
12/22/16 11:07 am

Not inherently. It depends on conditions and, in some cases, is the only place the species survives as far as we are aware.

croopertrooper Greater Cincinnati Area
12/22/16 10:44 am

Not inherently. Keeping them in terrible conditions would be. The good ones focus on conservation and education.

sweetnes34 Outta Phucks
12/22/16 10:41 am

Only if they're unethically cared for

CoffeeNow Powderpuff Leftist
12/22/16 10:32 am

On the one hand these are wild animals that were not meant to be in a cage

On the other hand you get an easy opportunity to show kids the wonders of nature and get them to support conservation

Red4799 Asking the Big Questions
12/22/16 9:32 am

They'd do the same to us.

Hunter6P Texas
12/22/16 8:51 am

They give them a nice, easy long life.

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
12/22/16 9:03 am

They usually live much shorter lives in captivity.

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
12/24/16 9:00 am

🙄🙄🙄🙄 most live shorter lives in captivity. Maybe some animals that are prey in the wild live longer, but the vast majority have their lifespans significantly cut.

Henry123 Connecticut
12/24/16 11:12 am

There are many animals with extended lifespans in captivity. That's all I'm saying. So your argument isn't that good on its own

ovcourse 8646 Bidenflation, CA
12/22/16 8:45 am

They have a better chance of surviving in the zoo than in the wild.

12/22/16 8:30 am

Yes, totally. But reserves are great.

Zach21 California
12/22/16 8:06 am

No, as long as they take care of them.

If you really want to look at something bad, farm animals are kept in cages where they can't even turn around before they get slaughtered.

suppressedID destiny is right now
12/22/16 8:04 am

But driving them to extinction is way worse.

Since we do both....

cornybread The Large Malus Fruit
12/22/16 7:55 am

If the animals are being taken care of and given plenty of space, it's okay by me. I've had many a great time at the Bronx zoo and the Audubon zoo!

gonzoboy Northern AZ
12/22/16 7:05 am

I love zoos! And zoos today are NOT the zoos of our forebears. Zoos are no longer rows of steel-barred cages, concrete floors with a little box in the back for sleeping, while these encaged animals nervously pace back-'n'-forth in a state of psychological catatonia. Zoos today reflect decades of study and research. What we learn we implement in their care, environments and captive settings, and become better stewards of their wild and native habitats, in conservation efforts, breeding programs, etc. Compared to the daily struggle to survive in the wild, today's zoo animals are better habituated, better fed, and healthier over all! Heck, I'd say they're cared for better than some actual folks!
I say we needn't be concerned about zoo animals, now, or going forward. They don't taste NEARLY as good, as farm animals do!

ezh2o Texas Hill Country
12/22/16 7:40 am

Zoos take wild animals out of their natural habitat. How would you like being removed from your natural habitat and placed in prison?

gonzoboy Northern AZ
12/22/16 7:48 am

ezh, without actually saying so, it seems you disagree with me. What would you like to see as a solution? Not just your personal solution, but a real-world solution keeping in mind that zoos aren't going anywhere...

JennaAwesome Book Lover
12/22/16 7:50 am

Let people see wild animals in their wild habitats, as nature intended

gonzoboy Northern AZ
12/22/16 8:19 am

JennaAwesome, Animal Planet, Discovery, and NatGeo Wild are amongst my favorite channels! They give me what zoos can't. I DIG " wild animals in their wild habitats", TOO! Where else can we get our fill of such cool wild animal activities as a Great White munching on a baby Seal; Killer Whales separating a baby Blue Whale from its mama and mauling it; Hyena's fightin' each other over the putrid remains of a Kudu carcass; a pride of lions shredding an almost-killed Wildebeest; Cheetahs gnawing on an impala; a Python squeezing the 💩 out of a Capybara before swallowing it whole; Crocodiles cooperating with each other to dismember and disembowel a Zebra that got thirsty at the wrong time, etc., etc. YES Jenna, WE AGREE!😃

JennaAwesome Book Lover
12/22/16 8:24 am

Awesome!! When I was younger I used to watch animal planet a lot, but some of the shows I used to are no longer shown. Untamed and uncut, animal miracles, Mutual of Omaha wild kingdom and anything about marine animals (orcas, dolphins, whales) were my favorites!

Korosensei Maine
12/22/16 9:20 am

To be fair I know a good number of zoos mostly take on animals that are injured or simply can't live in the wild

awkwardism dissent
12/22/16 7:03 am

We keep people in cages
What's the difference?

JennaAwesome Book Lover
12/22/16 7:49 am

Animals didn't do anything wrong to be kept in cages

cyanospool The Deep North
12/22/16 3:56 pm

Dang. I think this might take the cake for most ignorant comment I've seen on SOH and I've been here since 2012!

cyanospool The Deep North
12/22/16 3:58 pm

Was referring to awkward, not you, haha. What you said is spot on.

awkwardism dissent
12/26/16 7:19 pm

People aren't fuvking animals either! That's funny

12/22/16 6:58 am

Better than keeping them out in the wild to die

JennaAwesome Book Lover
12/22/16 6:54 am

Yes. I am adamantly against zoos and have been for years. I started out boycotting aquariums, such as SeaWorld. Some zoos are good, however. The zoos that are focused on conservation over profit are the good ones. Before you go to a zoo, please research a little. If you have any questions, you can always message me. I've been an activist on this subject for years, and while I don't know everything, i know a lot. 😊

Okie1967 Lets go brandon
12/22/16 6:48 am

It would be unethical to release them. They'd die, get shot, and hurt people. They're among the weakest species and humans would eliminate them save they be protected by us.

phalnx Ohio
12/22/16 6:26 am

No, animals are well-treated at zoos, and generally have enough space to do their least at the Toledo zoo. Easy life for them, education and experience for

cowboy Proud Father
12/22/16 6:15 am

It must feel like prison to them.

JennaAwesome Book Lover
12/22/16 7:51 am

I think we finally agree on something cowboy 😊

cowboy Proud Father
12/22/16 7:52 am

Sooner or later everyone agrees with me. ✌🏻

Henry123 Connecticut
12/22/16 10:05 am

It doesn't really feel like anything to them. They aren't self aware (for the most part) they don't even know that they are alive because there is no "they" like there is a "me"
If that makes sense

cowboy Proud Father
12/22/16 10:21 am

I guess you've never heard of prides, herds, troops, colonies, flocks or swarms then...

Henry123 Connecticut
12/23/16 3:15 pm

Not sure how any of those things are relevant here...

Gunfighter06 Iowa, since 1846
12/22/16 5:42 am

Not in it of itself, but many zoos don't give animals nearly enough room to do their thing.

12/22/16 8:32 am

No zoo's do... but reserves certainly do (and you can even safari through them which is way cooler than walking around starring at them in cafes).

googer11 Minnesota
12/22/16 5:33 am

Depends on the zoo.

12/22/16 5:24 am

How can young children, (especially city dwellers) appreciate the beauty and value of animals, unless they can see and touch them? Only then will they grow up to value not hurting, and caring for God's beautiful creation. Zoos are important!

12/22/16 5:48 pm

Here's an alternative: How about the parents just teach their children this lesson instead? "My dear child, all of God's creatures are precious and we must treat them as such." I don't see how putting animals in a zoo so the kiddies can see and touch (!) them is necessary for a child to appreciate this.

Spiritof76 USA 1776
12/22/16 4:45 am

In many cases zoos rescue animals. Also, you can't own pets yourself and still say zoos are unethical without sounding slightly hypocritical.

JennaAwesome Book Lover
12/22/16 6:54 am

Yes you can. Zoos contain WILD animals. Pets, such as dogs, cats, etc have been domesticated over thousands of years so they no longer have wild instincts.

ezh2o Texas Hill Country
12/22/16 7:34 am

Jenna, I agree that animals should not be removed from their natural habitat and placed in, essentially, prison stifling their natural instincts. The only way I would approve of imprisoning wild animals is open range.

JennaAwesome Book Lover
12/22/16 7:37 am

I've seen ideas like that and I definitely approve of them. The sad thing is, most zoos (in the US at least) don't have the space or money to do things like those.

ezh2o Texas Hill Country
12/22/16 7:48 am

There is plenty of land available outside urban city's that could be used. In Texas there are many open range animal refuge that people drive through to view the wildlife.

JennaAwesome Book Lover
12/22/16 7:52 am

That would be awesome if every state did. I live in Indiana and don't think there's any place like that around here though, unfortunately. And money is a huge factor too. It'll probably be expensive to transfer a space like that and make it suitable for animals

ezh2o Texas Hill Country
12/22/16 12:09 pm

It would be nice if an old rancher with kids that don't want to take over the ranch, donate the land. That happens more than you think here in Texas.

paranoidandroid peace love science
12/22/16 4:33 am

I don't think it's unethical. A prime example is giraffes. They are now considered vulnerable to extinction because their numbers have been rapidly dwindling in the wild, however we can keep the species alive in zoos. It's certainly not ideal but is better than the alternative.

skacey best poll is evenly split
12/22/16 4:31 am

Often zoos serve to house animals that have been captured and brought from their habitat by less scrupulous individuals. But it can tend to create its own problems.

What do you do with some guy who gets a wild animal as a baby and cannot control it when it grows too large? Often it is impossible to release back into the wild, so how do you resolve it.

At the same time, if the zoo takes in enough of these rescues, should it not create habitats and allow the public to see? This generates revenue that allows for the upkeep.

Now that we have a zoo and attendees, it's easy to see why the zoo might encourage getting more animals to increase attendance. What was once a humanitarian effort begins to slip into exploitation.

It is almost by definition a slippery slope.

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
12/22/16 9:19 am

THANK YOU. PERFECT. You couldn't have said it better. So many people don't think through past the rescue part. The problem is that good intentions have turned sour.

SHIPPY1944 Tn.
12/22/16 3:53 am

Probably kept many from being "eaten" by other animals in the wild🦌🐆🐐🐊🐃🐅❗