By Alexis Galarza Posted March 19, 2021
Are zoos suitable for the animals or completely wrong? The idea is a controversial topic because most argue that zoos are keeping the animals in a safe environment, rather than being in danger in the wild. However, it seems that the bad outweighs the good in most cases.
One of the main reasons zoos are not ideal for animals is that the animals themselves are not given good enough habitats. Through zoos put on the front that the animals are well taken care of in their “natural habit,” it is not always the case. Because of the habitat they are placed in, they cannot adapt to their actual natural environment well enough to survive if they were to be released into the wild. National Geographic has shown studies that reintroduced animals have a higher mortality rate because they are poorly adapted to everything new around them and do not have the skills to survive in the wild. In the study, only 33 percent of reintroduced animals survived.
In zoos, animals can be placed in the wrong environment which then places an unneeded amount of stress on the animals. In captivity, the animals cannot fulfill their behavioral needs.
According to The Dodo, a website dedicated to animals, “Their climate and diet, the size and characteristics of their enclosure, or the fact that they have to rely on humans for their every need can cause an animal to feel stressed and perform stereotypic behaviors.”
In other words, saying that the animals mainly rely on humans, and many other factors come into play in animals’ mental health. National Center for Biotechnology Information studies have shown that physical stress can often lead to psychological pressure with all the stress adding up.
Most may argue that zoos do more good for the animals and keep them safe and protected against poachers. The profit coming from some zoos also goes to help endangered animals in the world. However, even in the best possible scenarios and circumstances, it is still impossible for zoos to give all the necessities an animal requires.
There have been some cases where zoos fail to provide simple care for the animals and do more harm than they are doing good. For example, South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria has lost nearly 500 different animals in just a span of three years. From various causes, that ranged from malnourishment to hyperthermia in the year 2017 according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Research done by Bristol University also showed how more than three-quarters of British zoos failed to meet the minimum animal welfare standards. Clearly demonstrating how some zoos fail to show the animals the care they need and are often neglected.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are many other reasons zoos should no longer run, however, these are just some of the main reasons. Zoos are commonly caught in the action doing the animals more harm than good.