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Should Animals be Kept in Zoos?
Transcript of Should Animals be Kept in Zoos?
When I first went to the Toronto zoo, I was four years old. I was so excited, because I loved animals and seeing them was the next best to interacting with them, and playing with them. At that time, I never thought about how the animals would pace around anxiously. But now I want to know, what was wrong with the picture? Table of Contents
5. Unnatural Habitat
10. Less Threats
11. Animal Preservation
12. Research Purposes
13. Less Travel
14. Educational Purposes
16. Life Saver
17. Different Perspectives
18. Different Perspectives Cont.
20. Interview cont.
21. My opinion
22. Bibliography Zoochosis
The behaviour I noticed at the zoo was called 'zoochosis'. So what is Zoochosis? The term 'zoochosis' refers to the habits that a bored or frustrated animal has when kept in zoos. Examples of Zoochosis
Bar Biting - Animals will repeatedly bite, rub, or suck on the bars of the cage or pen they are in.
Pacing - Animals will continuously walk around the enclosure following the same path.
Neck twisting - Animals will twist their neck in an unnatural way, sometimes bending their neck back.
Rocking - Animals, usually chimpanzees, will sit, sometimes hugging their legs, and rock back and forth.
Swaying - Animals will stand in one place and sway the head and shoulders, occasionally the whole body from side to side. Cons of Keeping Animals in Zoos Unnatural Habitat
As I mentioned earlier in the presentation,
zoochosis is a behaviour that many animals show when they are put into zoos. Most people would not feel as comfortable in an unnatural habitat, so shouldn't that apply to most animals too? In the wild, elephants live and travel with a herd, while in zoos, they may only have one or two other elephants living with them. With so few groupmates, animals tend to feel uncomfortable, therefore acting in an unnatural way. How would you like it if you were kept in a cage while you were being displayed, seperated from your family and friends? Many people wouldn't like that, but would prefer a more natural habitat; i.e. a party room with all your friends, family, lots of food and drinks. And so would most animals. Animals deserve to live in the wild, so if they hurt trainers, or bystanders at the zoo, it is all our fault. It isn't the animal's fault because in the wild, they wouldn't do that unless we were hunting them; but we aren't. we are taking away the livelyhood of innocent animals by displaying them in zoos. Lower Chance of Finding a Mate
In zoos, there might not be two of the same species of animals in the zoo, let alone another gender, so the reproducing rate will be much, much less than in the wild. Loss of Hunting Instincts
Many animals lose their natural hunting ability because food in zoos are basically given to them on a plate and set times for meals is also unnatural. Bibliography
Jacquie Kostoff, June 8 2010, School Project
Penny Tripp, Animal Rights, Minnesota, Chrysalis Books, 2003
Karen D. Povey, Animal Rights, Detroit, Lucent Books
L.K. Currie-McGhee, Animal Rights, Detroit, Thompson Gale, 2005 Distracted?
While visiting zoos, many people are actually distracted, they talk about things that are unrelated to the animals, and they only spend a few minutes at each exhibit. Zoos are supposed to be educational, but how can people be educated when they don't pay attention? Less Threats
In the wild, animals face threats of
starvation, poaching, drought, predators, habitat loss, and many more. Animals will be much safer in zoos than out in the wild, where it is dangerous and there are many risks. Endangered Animals
Many species of endangered or threatened animals have been made into sustainable populations from being bred in zoos. An example is the Pere David's deer. Research Purposes
Scientists have learned lots by studying animals in zoos. The research helped them to develop new medicines to improve animal health. Travel Distance is Shorter
Zoos are good because people can go to local zoos instead of traveling long distances just to see a particular animal. Educational Purposes
Zoos are good because they educate children, adults, and people of all ages about animals in a fun and interesting way. People feel more compelled to listen because of the entertaining way the programs are presented. Donations
After a trip to the zoo, people feel impacted about how valuable animals are to the world, and they try to conserve them by not littering, which affects the eco system. People also help by donating to animal conservation groups. Life Saver
Some zoos take up abandoned animals and nurture them to health. Without the zoos, some animals may be dead and/or homeless. Opinions of Other People Different Point of Views
The question: 'How do you Feel About Animals Being Kept in Zoos?
Meg- In my opinion, animals should have the same ethical treatment as human beings. How would you like it if you were an animal, and you needed to go to the bathroom, while people were looking at you, laughing, and taking snapshots? That wouldn't be a pretty sight.
Monica- In my opinion, the animals are helpless and don't have enough space to roam, and we are affecting the food chain. The animals have a right to choose whether they stay in the zoo, or whether they are released into the wild.
Colleen from Mount Joy Animal Clinic- I think animals should be kept in zoos as long as they are kept in good condition.
Dhanya- If the animals were raised in the zoo, it is okay for them to be kept there because they are already familiar with the place, but if they were taken from the wild it's not okay because they aren't used to the environment. Different Point of Views Cont.
Vruksha- I feel that if the animals are being kept in zoos, they shouldn't be seperated from their mothers until they're ready. They should be treated well and deserve their privacy.
My Dad- It is bad for animals to be kept in zoos because they belong in the wild. The only reason why they should be kept in captivity is to help them survive. If people want to study and learn about animals, they should go to the multimedia records, or go into the wild and observe the animals from there.
My Mom- It is good and bad for the animals to be kept in zoos. It is good because you can watch and enjoy them. But it is bad because you can tell the animals are nervous and are not comfortable. The animals are distressed; at least to a certain extent. Since getting to know the ferocious animals in the wild is next to impossible, they should be kept in zoos so that we can learn about them. It's more important for us to get to know them, than to worry about their feelings, yet the animals should be close to their natural habitat so they can be more comfortable.
Deifilia- Common animals should not be kept in zoos, but endangered animals should, until they reproduce and become plentiful. When that is done, they should be released into the wild. Interview
To get the opinion of an expert with zoos, I asked Jacquie Kostoff, the Acting Education Coordinator from Toronto Zoo, a few questions. Here were the questions and her responses.
Q. Do you think the treatment of zoos, in general (not just Toronto Zoo) is acceptable?
A. That is a very difficult question to answer. Zoo's can be very helpful when researching about certain animals that you wouldn't normally be able to study (i.e.) a cheetah or any animal that might be endangered or even threatened for that matter. In addition many zoos have captive breeding and release programs that actually help to restore natural populations of endangered animals in the wild. On the other hand some zoos are not accredited and have very low standards on keeping their animals and do not encourage any research. So my answer depends on the specific zoo we are talking about, I can not generalize about all zoos.
Q. Because you can not generalize about all zoos, then do you feel the treatment of animals in the Toronto zoo is acceptable?
A. Yes I do feel at the Toronto Zoo we do an amazing job of taking care of the animals. We have zoo keepers that are very observant and are quick to report any issues to our veterinarians. In addition we are an accredited zoo and a member of CAZA and AZA which have very high standards.
In addition we have many SSP's (Species Survival Plan) for many of our endangered animals and are actively involved in breeding, research and reintroduction programs.
Interview Interview cont.
Q. Should animals be kept in the wild because they belong there?
A. Generally speaking yes, but if a species is declining in numbers for unknown reasons or there are only a few left, I feel that someone should step in and offer assistance and insight into the reasons behind it. A good example of this is the Black footed Ferret.(BFF) Approximately 30 years ago the BFF was thought to be extripated (no longer alive in the wild). One day a dog brought home a dead BFF and people realized that there must be some still left. They discovered one group of 18 individuals and decided to take them out of the wild and breed them in 4 locations ( one is at Toronto Zoo) with the intention of releasing them back into the wild in the future. If they were left in the wild, it is probable that one disease or catastrophe could have wiped out the entire population. I am happy to say that in the past few years quite a few individuals have been released back into the wild in America, and this past September we reintroduced them into the Canadian prairies and they are doing very well. My opinion
In conculsion, I agree with Meg that animals deserve privacy and the same treatment as human beings, with Monica that the animals need more space, with Vruksha that animals shouldn't be seperated from their mothers until they are ready, and with Deifilia that only endangered animals should be kept in zoos so that they can become plentiful and be released into the wild. I believe that animals belong in the wild, but not all zoos should be banned. Only the zoos with poor treatment should be banned and the animals in those zoos be transported to other zoos or, released into the wild. The animals should be allowed to stay with family and stay in an environment as natural to the wild as possible.