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Transcript of Animal Captivity
There are over 100 zoos and wildlife collections and about two dozen major zoos across Canada. Some of these zoos provide quality care for their animals and place a high priority on animal welfare. Such zoos make important contributions towards education and conservation. Unfortunately, many other zoos do not adequately provide for the animals in their care, do little to promote animal welfare, and even less to further education or conservation, although they will list these as justifications for keeping the zoo open.
Animals in captivity suffer from stress, boredom and confinement. Intergenerational bonds are broken when individuals get sold or traded to other zoos, and no pen or even drive-through safari can compare to the freedom of the wild.
The Good Part
Zoos save endangered species by bringing them into a safe environment, where they are protected from poachers, habitat loss, starvation and predators.
History of Animal Captivity
The domestication of animals is the oldest documented instance of keeping animals in captivity. This process eventually resulted in habituation of wild animal species to survive in the company of, or by the labor of, human beings. Domesticated species are those whose behavior, life cycle, or physiology has been altered as a result of their breeding and living conditions under human control for multiple generations. Probably the earliest known domestic animal was the dog, likely as early as 15000 BC among hunter-gatherers in several locations.
Throughout history not only domestic animals as pets and livestock were kept in captivity and under human care, but also wild animals. Some were failed domestication attempts. Also, in past times, primarily the wealthy, aristocrats and kings collected wild animals for various reasons. Contrary to domestication, the ferociousness and natural behaviour of the wild animals were preserved and exhibited. Today's zoos claim other reasons for keeping animals under human care: conservation, education and science.
Kieston Dale & Nabiha Saeed
Solution & Alternative
Zoos, Aquariums, & Circuses
have become very popular, particularly those showcasing beluga whales, orcas, and dolphins. However, while aquariums can adequately provide for the needs of some marine mammals, such as seals and smaller sea animals it is not possible to meet the needs of larger aquatic mammals, such as whales and dolphins, in aquariums. In the wild cetaceans swim long distances and have many behavioural patterns and social needs that cannot be provided for in captivity.
have entertained humans around the world for hundreds of years. Although a circus show can be amusing and it may look like the animals are in good condition, there are many problems with the way animals in circuses are treated.
Baby animals bring in visitors and money, but this incentive to breed new baby animals leads to overpopulation. Surplus animals are sold not only to other zoos, but also to circuses, canned hunting facilities, and even for slaughter. Some zoos just kill their surplus animal outright.
The vast majority of captive breeding programs do not release animals back into the wild. The offspring are forever part of the chain of zoos, circuses, petting zoos, and exotic pet trade that buy, sell and barter animals among themselves and exploit animals. Ned the Asian elephant was born at an accredited zoo, but later confiscated from an abusive circus trainer and finally sent to a sanctuary.
If people want to see wild animals in real life, they can observe wildlife in the wild or visit a sanctuary. A true sanctuary does not buy, sell, or breed animals, but takes in unwanted exotic pets, surplus animals from zoos or injured wildlife that can no longer survive in the wild.
By bringing people and animals together, zoos educate the public and foster an appreciation of the animals. This exposure and education motivates people to protect the animals.
Seeing an animal in person is a much more personal and more memorable experience than seeing that animal in a nature documentary.
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