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Song JungIn
Vincent Gilhooley
English writing2
8 June 2016

Should zoos be banned?


Have you ever read the articles about a gorilla killed by shooting? This accident
happened in Cincinnati Zoo. Cincinnati zoo claims that they killed the gorilla to save a child.
However, it cannot be justified that killing the living creatures by the name of safety. Like in
this example, there are so many articles dealing with the dangerousness of zoos. It is obvious
that animals are deeply engaged in modern humans lives and society. Internationally, people
know and learn about wild animals from the zoos they have visited. However, in some zoos,
animals are ill-treated by their zoo keepers. Sometimes, animals are even deprived of a
natural habitat that zoos attempt but fail to recreate after the wild. Consequently, animals
develop physiological problems. Some zoos are no better than prison that cage up animals,
causing these creatures to become greatly stressed. Therefore, animals should not continue to
be kept in zoos for many reasons.
Zoos are just for entertainment, not education. Zoos claim that they provide
educational opportunities, but most visitors spend only a few minutes at each display, seeking
entertainment rather than enlightenment. Over the course of five summers, a curator at the
National Zoo followed more than 700 zoo visitors and found that It didnt matter what was
on display people were treating the exhibits like wallpaper. (Geer, 1). In addition, most
zoo enclosures are very small, and rather than promoting respect for animals or understanding
of them, signs often provide little more information than an animals species, height, and their
prey. Animals normal behavior is rarely discussed, much less observed, because their natural
needs are rarely met. Since Natural conditions such as climate and habitat cannot be recreated

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similarly in the zoos. Even though the signs express the deep information such as animals
whole life, the information provided is from the animals natural habitat, not the current
constricted state of the animal. The animal from the wild and animal in the constricted state,
such as a cage, will not act similarly. The constricted environment in zoos makes the sign
provided meaningless. Therefore, the idea of keeping the zoo for educational purpose is
nothing but an excuse.
Zoos purpose is not for animals welfare so that animals are suffered from the zoos.
Firstly, Zoos cannot provide sufficient space. Studies show that elephants which typically
travel 30 miles per day are confined to spaces, on average, 1,000 times smaller than their wild
habitats and that polar bears have spaces approximately 1,000,000 times smaller than their
arctic territories (Rosenberg, 1). This narrow and inappropriate environment makes animals
stressful and is so confined that animal cannot be relaxed. Secondly, surplus animals are
killed or sold to other zoos or dealers. These abandoned animals are eventually
sold at hunting farms, pet shops and circus. Selling surplus animals is a
profitable way for zoos to retain their profit. Finally, Animals suffer from
abnormal repetitive behavior. Since most of us only have knowledge of these
wild animals from seeing them at the zoo, it is not always easy to
recognize their stressed behaviors. However, Animals stressed
behaviors, which are typical of animals kept in captivity such as zoo
animals, are in risk of depression, boredom and psychosis (Laidlaw, 1). In
addition, A government-funded study of elephants in UK zoos found that 54% of the
elephants showed stereotype during the daytime. One elephant observed during day and night
stereotyped for 61% of a 24-hour period (Satchell, 1).
In comparison, some other people think that zoos conserve the animals. However, if

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they were truly concerned with the preservation of animals, they would instead work to
preserve animals natural habitat. Firstly, it is fact that people including the zoos erode the
natural habitat of animals through pollution such as soil erosion, crops and other harmful
processes. These lead to disappearing animals natural habitat and the purpose of the
conservation eventually goes down the drain. There may be no places for animals which are
grown by the zoos, since humans are destroying animals natural habitat. Secondly, while
zoos generally claim to take in only the needy animal, most of the animals in zoos are not
endangered, orphaned or injured at all (Jacques, 1). Many animals are captured from the wild
even though they are not injured or extinctive as they have to be shown in the zoos. Of course
breeding program seemed good to the animals, because they are given to an artificial
environment where food and shelter similar to the natural habitat. However, Benjamin Beck
found that in the last century, only 16 of 145 reintroduction programs worldwide ever
actually restored any animal populations to the wild (Bames,1). It means that even though the
zoos imitate the animals natural habitat and provide food or shelter similar to wild, the
purpose of conservation shows the bad results.
In a nutshell, zoos should be banned for many reasons. Wild animals should not be
kept in zoos as these creatures have their own rights. They were captured by people, and most
of them compelled to live in terrible conditions, killing them physically and mentally. Neither
should they be held captive by us humans, whether it benefits them or not. Animals are
nonexistent for our amusement. They are a part of nature. Instead of going to the zoo, we can
learn about animals by watching nature documentaries or observing the animals in their own
natural habitats instead. Therefore, it is extremely important to know that animals have rights,
just like humans, and people have to respect animals.

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Works cited

1) Geer, Abigail. "5 Reasons You Should Boycott the Zoo." Care2.com. 5 Reasons You Should
Boycott The Zoo. 15 Jan. 2014. Web. 13 June 2016.
2) Rosenberg, Amy. What Kind of Life Do Animals Prefer? Irascible at the Cape May Count
Zoo, Happy in the Circus, Philadelphia Inquirer 5 Aug. 2001. 24 October. Web. 13 June
2016.
3) Satchell, Michael. "Zoos: Pitiful Prisons." PETA. Peta.org, 5 Aug 2001. Web. 13 June 2016.
4) Bames, Brooks. Last Chance for Animals Zoos LAST CHANCE FOR ANIMALS. 22.
October. 2006. Web. 13. June. 2016.
5) Jacques, Renee. "11 Things You Should Know Before Planning Your Next Trip To The Zoo."
Huffingtonpost.com. 29 July 2014. Web. 13 June 2016.
6) Laidlaw, Rob. Laidlaw Rob. "Zoos: Pitiful Prisons." PETA. Peta.org, 1 Jan. 2008. Web. 14
June 2016.