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Zoos: Pitiful Prisons

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Kayla Saras

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of Zoos: Pitiful Prisons

According to the organization
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
, "Tatiana, a Siberian tiger, escaped her substandard enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo in 2007 and was shot to death after she killed one person and injured two others; she had mauled one of the zookeepers a year earlier."
Additionally according to
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
, "A gorilla named Jabari tried to escape from the Dallas Zoo by jumping over walls and moats and evading electrified wires, only to be fatally shot by police."
In 2010, there was a large controversy surrounding the tragic death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau who was pulled down in a pool to her death by SeaWorld's killer whale named Tilikum. This killer whale had already been involved in two marine-park deaths before this, yet SeaWorld continued to keep Tilikum in captivity to make money off of him.
Tuesday, March 12, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Fooled by an "Educational" Mask
The Dangers of Zoos
The Tragedy of "Zoochosis"
Flipping the Script...
The environment these wild animals are put in keeps them confined, restricts them from physical activity, and eliminates their natural hunting and mating behaviors. These confining conditions often result in "zoochosis", which is an abnormal and self-destructive behavior exhibited by animals held in captivity.

According to
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
, "An Oxford University study based on four decades of observing animals in captivity and in the wild found that animals such as polar bears, lions, tigers, and cheetahs "show the most evidence of stress and/or psychological dysfunction in captivity" and concluded that "the keeping of naturally wide-ranging carnivores should be either fundamentally improved or phased out.""
As human beings, we wouldn't want to be held in a cage for our entire lives, so why should an innocent animal have to be subjected to that kind of life?
These animals are at a disadvantage because they don't have a voice, therefore we must be their voice and advocate for their freedom.
Their lifetime of captivity provides up with simply an hour or so of entertainment... Is that fair to them?
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, "Over the course of 5 summers, a curator at the National Zoo followed more than 700 zoo visitors and found that "it didn't matter what was on display... people [were] treating the exhibits like wallpaper." It is rare for a zoo spectator to actually read the (lack of) information about the animals.
The exhibits don't encourage respect for or understanding of the animals. The signs usually give no more information than the animal's species diet, and natural range.
The animal's normal behavior cannot truly be observed because they are not in their natural habitat, and many of the animals display abnormal behavior because of the conditions they are living in.
Like most industries, zoos rely on revenue, therefore they tend take in popular and exotic animals to attract and please crowds instead of taking care of threatened or endangered local wild animals.

Think about what it would be like to be in their situation
The Truth Behind Zoos
Take Action to Stop the Suffering

As entertaining as it may be, don't spend your money on zoos. The money you give to the zoo goes towards animals imprisonment.
Speak up and write a letter or e-mail to organizations and foundations that donate to a zoo and let them know they could be putting their money to better use if they put it towards organizations that protect wild animals.
Encourage your local zoo to focus on giving injured and rescued exotic animals a home instead of capturing and breeding animals from the wild.
If you notice poor living conditions for animals at a zoo, report them to the USDA, and encourage local officials to stop supporting zoos with taxpayer money.
What Can You Do to Help?
..In Zoos
Common behaviors we see from zoo animals such as pacing back and forth, walking in tight circles, swaying or rolling their heads are actually signs of zoochosis and psychological distress.
This isn't acceptable...
...But this is?
Source Text
"Zoos: Pitiful Prisons." PETA.PETA, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.< http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/animals-used-entertainment-factsheets/zoos-pitiful-prisons/>.
Additional Sources
Why zoos are a dangerous environment for the animals and humans

Zimmerman, Time. "The Killer in the Pool." Editorial. Outside Magazine July 2010: n. pag. Outside Online. 30 July 2010. Web. 02 Mar. 2014
Zoos' priorities are entertainment, not education
Animal entertainment can be made into a joke, but it is a serious issue
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