Today, we can watch many animal documentaries online. Despite that, do you think we still need zoos for our sole purpose of entertainment?
Many zoo defenders justify their existence as Education and Conservation. When we talk about education, I ask oneself what is the exact education we are getting from these poor and miserable animals behind cages?
Let’s dive into education and conservation one by one. And see how much these arguments support for wildlife to live behind bars!
It is true that Zoo educates children about the wonders of our planet wildlife. They let the young minds learn about so many wonderful creatures in one space. As people are curious to know what animals look like, smell like or how it feels like to touch their skin.
But you know that animals in zoo are living in an artificial environment. As they are pluck out from their natural habitat and thrown behind bars. Ignoring the fact that we gain little understanding of what the animals are like.
Because, they won’t act in natural state as they should be. Animals that are kept in captivity exhibit certain behavior pattern that are the serious signs of mental distress.
So what’s the use of such education? Because you are observing an animal in an unnatural habitat and insufficient environment.
Likewise, where we have an opportunity to see a vast number of wildlife in one space. Yet, it might be fun for us to see so many different species together but it isn’t for them.
As in these theme parks where animals are confined in a limited space, they are deprived of with their basic activities like; hunting, grazing, flying, walking, roaming and developing important social structure.
As they are robbed of their basic needs, the diseases and mental complications arise which have deadly consequence in form of early deaths.
Meanwhile, I agree that interaction with animals educate our kids the care, love and affection to have for these animals. The curiosity that leads us to see them from close-up gives us excitement and true understanding of their nature as we develop close bond with them. That even justify the well-structured zoos to be have.
Though, I believe that not all animals are suitable to keep in zoos. For example, if we talk about hunting mammals such as lions, tigers, cheetahs or like big raptors, polar bears — has no point to be in cages. As you are not allowed to touch them or be close to them even in Zoos. So, whats the point of keeping these wild animals behind the bars unless they are consider “endangered”.
Indeed, there is no denying that number of species are increasingly threatened and risk extinction across the world. So, the existence of rehabilitation center strongly supports “breeding programme” of those species that are on the verge of extinction. Those protected in captivity provide foundation population. Very, well.
However, rehabilitation centers and animals sanctuaries never breed animals for display. The true rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries treat hurt animals and release them back in their natural wildlife environment. Moreover, not all species in zoo are endangered, many of them are put there only for entertainment.
Think about it, animals kept in captivity and birthing further in captivity isn’t like a life sentence?
So, what’s the alternative? That’s what needs to be brought on the table for discussion.
There are many options for us, like we can also go out and see animals around us; through hiking, exploring rivers, tide-pool, beaches, forest or farm trips and nearby bird watching. They are all around us — on sea, land and in the sky.
It’s in your hands to choose a way to get close up to animals and nature. By keeping in mind, yourself in their place. Just imagine — you in cage, for others entertainment. Would you like that?