Is the act of keeping animals in zoos unethical?
Sometimes it's the only way to preserve some species
I said no because it's an opportunity to learn about them close up to help preserve them in nature
Some animals are happy being domesticated. But you can obviously tell some animals are miserable in zoos and parks.
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.
Zoos are keeping endangered species alive. Instead of them being poached to extinction by humans, they're being studied and bred to survive.
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?
Apes do that in real life not in captivity... and where do you hear of human inmates throwing shit everywhere? And often at that?
www.themarshallproject.org/2016/03/04/inside-the-shithouse-the-prison-unit-where-troubled-inmates-throw-feces-at-guards#.M6JGHDT98 --just one example. Mostly happens with excessive solitary confinement.
Yes, unless those animals are endangered and we're trying to repopulate them.
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.
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?
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.
Not if properly treated. If it weren't for zoos and natural preserves, many of the species would be extinct.
The animals are often given much better lives
If the Animal is endangered than it's ok but if it's not then no.
A lot of times zoos save animals from becoming endangered. Like pandas.
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.
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.
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.
So long as it's enough space, zoos are great. Their conservation and research efforts improve and sometimes save entire species.
It absolutely is. This is my one "lefty" feeling.
The animals get free food and get to lounge around all day.
Most animals are not built to "lounge" all day every day.
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.
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.
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.
Not inherently. It depends on conditions and, in some cases, is the only place the species survives as far as we are aware.
Not inherently. Keeping them in terrible conditions would be. The good ones focus on conservation and education.
Only if they're unethically cared for
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
They'd do the same to us.
They give them a nice, easy long life.
They usually live much shorter lives in captivity.
Some do some don't
🙄🙄🙄🙄 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.
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
They have a better chance of surviving in the zoo than in the wild.
Yes, totally. But reserves are great.
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.
But driving them to extinction is way worse.
Since we do both....
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!
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!
Zoos take wild animals out of their natural habitat. How would you like being removed from your natural habitat and placed in prison?
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...
Let people see wild animals in their wild habitats, as nature intended
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!😃
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!
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
We keep people in cages
What's the difference?
Animals didn't do anything wrong to be kept in cages
Dang. I think this might take the cake for most ignorant comment I've seen on SOH and I've been here since 2012!
How is that ignorant?
Was referring to awkward, not you, haha. What you said is spot on.
People aren't fuvking animals either! That's funny
Better than keeping them out in the wild to die
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. 😊
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.
No, animals are well-treated at zoos, and generally have enough space to do their thing...at least at the Toledo zoo. Easy life for them, education and experience for zoo-goers...win/win.
It must feel like prison to them.
I think we finally agree on something cowboy 😊
Sooner or later everyone agrees with me. ✌🏻
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
I guess you've never heard of prides, herds, troops, colonies, flocks or swarms then...
Not sure how any of those things are relevant here...
Not in it of itself, but many zoos don't give animals nearly enough room to do their thing.
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).
Depends on the zoo.
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!
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.
In many cases zoos rescue animals. Also, you can't own pets yourself and still say zoos are unethical without sounding slightly hypocritical.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
What? Of course not.
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.
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.
Probably kept many from being "eaten" by other animals in the wild🦌🐆🐐🐊🐃🐅❗