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Are Zoos Ethical? Science Project By Olivia W. & McKenzie L.
Transcript of Are Zoos Ethical? Science Project By Olivia W. & McKenzie L.
McKenzie Lua The are many pros and cons in the debate of whetheror not zoos are ethical. Is it right to keep a wild animal in a cage other than in their natural habitat? The Basics A zoo is a type of park where an animal, endangered or not, are viewed by the public. These animals are in some sort of exhibit that is fenced, or at least with a barrier so that they may not interact with the public Zoo keepers are expected to care for the animals as well as their exhibits. Only in few caes may people interact with the species, as long as there is a zookeeper present, and the situation is safe. Zoo exhibits must have an educational plaque or paragraph stating the species of the animal and possibly other information. Zoos may have breeding programs programs to help the population of an endangered animal, and they are allowed to import as well export animals from other zoos. The Pros! :D The head of the National Zoo exhibit and design planning, Susan Ades, says that "One of the secrets of the National Zoo exhibit is how involved we are in the field of conversation. We have scientists that are working all over the world, especially in Asia, on behalf of endangered species and endangered habitats." There are many programs that are like the ones that Susan was referring to, such as the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), or ESPP (Endangered Species Protection Program). Another reason why zoos were created was to raise awareness and teach the public about animals. As well as the important role they play in our lives, also in the world. One program, known as AZA (Associations of Zoos and Aquariums) always keeps education in mind. It even states that "Over the past ten years, AZA-accredited instituations have also trained more han 400,000 teachers with award-winning and proven science curricula." One of the main and obvious pros in this particular situation is people enjot zoos because of the entertainment of seeing something they may never get to see in the wild. A Chicago cartoonist, Paul Hornschemeier, says that "Growing up, they gave me an appreciation of what's out there other than cats and dogs." Many zoos out there have educating, non-abusive shows involving animals, from shows about Birds of Prey to scaly reptiles. Unfortunately, there are several zoos out there that don't treat their animals so well. The Cons :( While zoos provide education, entertainment and conservation, in several places they're being used for the wrong reasons. In a few zoos in China, there are animal shows in which the animals are forced to do tricks that are often harmful to them. In one case, a lion is forced to do a somersault, which is only succeeded through beating the animal. The only reason this is being premitted, even though the government is aware, is because of the popularity and vast income that comes from there shows. Jeff He, China communications manager for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, who is against the abusive position the animals are put into, states "China needs a stand-alone united and intergrated legislation to prevent cruelty to all animals." Another reason that zoos may no longer be a good idea is that endangered animals, as well as other "surplus" animals are either sold or even given-off to dealers. These animals often end up as backyard pets, in an unsuitable environment. They are put in marketplaces where they are bought and kept as prizes by celebrites, or even worse, killed for their meat, pelts, and other body parts. Craig Hoover, a worker who helps with the World Wildlife Fund discussed the topic of what happens to a once cute, audience-attracting baby animals at zoos after they have grown up. "But what do you do with those animals when they're not babies anymore? Certainly the open market is the best place to sell them." One woman, Clarrissa Cormier who visited the zoo with her family, says sadly, "It'd be nice if his habitat was larger. When animals walk in circles it makes you wonder if they're happy. But, how else can people like us who can't travel to Australia and Africa get to see them?" A big issue is the size of the animals cage. Many animals live in cramped, tiney exhibits, which can be, and often are hundreds of times smaller than what their wild habitat's sizer would be. For many people, they dismiss the act of poor treatment of these animals and take it as "normal." After all, the majority of zoos do have proper treatment, or at least the best treatment they can give the animals. There is still what they were meant to be for; places where you can help, learn about, and enjoy some of lifes greatest wonders. Citations:
MacLeod, Calum. "Rules Aim to Curb Abuse in Chinese Zoos." USA TODAY. 22 Now 2010: A.16. SIRS Researcher. Web. 27 April 2011.
Paulson, Amanda. "Nagging Questions on the Wisdom of Zoos." Christian Science Monitor. 09 Jun 2005: n.p. SIRS Researcher. Web. 26 Apr 2011
"Endangered Species Protection Programs | Program | Peticides | US EPA." US Environmental Protection Agency. 16 May 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2011. <http://www.epa.gov/espp/>.
Terhun, Lea. "Zoo's Asia Taril Leads to Conservation." Washington File. Oct. 19 2006: n.p. SIRS Researcher. Web. 25 April 2011.
Goldston, Linda. "The Animal Business." San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, CA). Feb. 7 1999: 1A+.SIRS Reasarcher. Web. 16 April 2011.