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Should Zoos Exist? Essay

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Zoos are a popular attraction amongst children and adults. It has been suggested that animals have been kept in captivity for thousands of years, with the first zoo being established in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. However there is split opinion on having zoos within local communities. Some of the positives are it's a place of education, conservation, rescue and breeding programmes. The negatives are animals may suffer physically and mentally, the environment doesn't meet their natural habitat.

Zoos biggest role is to educate the public on animals, the various species, the wildlife and what they do to protect them, as getting zoos together with the public and animals gives them the possibility to educate the public according to learnenglishteens. Furthermore this leads to zoos having conservation and breeding programmes to help protect the endangered species. By having breeding programmes good zoos can release the species back into the wild which can reduce the cross over of genetics and prevent the extinction of those particular species.

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It could be argued that some zoos and animal sanctuaries rescue animals from laboratories, illegal pet trades or as circus animals. For instant Monkey World (2019) in Dorset rescue chimpanzees from various countries where they have been abused in laboratories for animal testing or they have been used as exotic pets in family homes or as a photographer's prop in European holiday destinations. These zoos go on to help rehabilitate these animals by reintroducing them to similar or the same species allowing them to live out the rest of their years in large enclosures, being fed the correct diet and being cared for in a compassionate way. Good zoos have hospitals and vets on site to help with the rehabilitation and intervention if it's required.

On the other hand there are groups of people who see zoos as animal prisons and feel animals suffer physically and metally, by not having enough room in their enclosure, which leads to animals appearing bored and depressed, with some animals showing unhealthy behaviours such as repetitive behaviours for example rocking back and forth, pacing or self mutilation according to Priya S ( 2018). Consequently this can be seen as unethical to animals as their behaviour in zoos does not match their natural habitats like those in the wild, which could lead to performing unnaturally, such as dolphins or seals being trained to perform tricks. According to peta.orgPriya S (2018) in 2010 an elephant at Woburn safari park was shocked using high voltage electric shocks to obey the keepers commands. One tour operator, Responsible Travel made the decision in 2017 to axe all trips that included zoo visits, the reason being as they are uncertain how much value for education the public receive when visiting zoos, how much is invested into conservation and how many animals are actually endangered being cared for in zoos.

It has been suggested that some may find zoos conservation programmes claims extremely sceptical, the charity Born Free are asking the Government to look at the Zoo Licensing Act (1981) which is 40 years old and amend zoos conservation programmes to a more measurable criteria implementing zoos to be accountable for conservation programmes and the running of zoos according to labnews (2021). As it has been suggested only 10% of zoo animals are actually endangered according to Responsible Travel (2021).

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Should Zoos Exist? Essay. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from
“Should Zoos Exist? Essay.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
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Should Zoos Exist? Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 Nov 30]. Available from:
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