Imagine playing with your family and all of a sudden being kidnapped. When you wake up you’re in a prison cell separated from your family, to make it worse there are people observing you all day everyday. This is what zoo animals had to adapt to when they’re brought to a zoo. There is no way that this is mentally healthy for the animal.
Being held captive is not mentally healthy for anyone or anything. Being taken away from a home can cause depression and make the animal upset and low. I have been to my public zoo for a sibling's birthday. We were watching the elephants, and I noticed that something wasn’t right. In the elephant's eyes you could see that they were not cheerful. They had bags drooping down from there eyes, they made little movement, I could tell that they were not satisfied in the zoo. Adaption can take a while, the animal may miss its environment. It is essential for an animal to have a proper environment. Some animals may need a hot beating sun and others may need lots of digging space. Although artificial environments are helping with that, they may not be able to provide everything for the animal. Not having these proper environments may not give the animal the proper survival skills that it needs. This can cause troubles if the animal is released to the wild because they most likely it will not survive.
Zoos should be illegal, humans are animals and if we were to lock each other up there would be problems, this would be considered assault, and abuse, both of which are illegal. The animals at the zoo’s are often not treated well. They may not be feed when and what they need. Not only they might not get the proper food but they might not get proper care for anything. If an animal is not given proper care it can die. When animals are being observed by visitors they can be a abused when people tap on glass, this become irritating for the animal, or garbage may find it’s way into the animal's habitat endangering them. A zoo should not be able to have exhibits that can endanger their animals.
If you are ever at a zoo you may notice animals like big cats pacing. This is often referred to a repetitive locomotion stereotype. When the pacing first begins the animal may be able to be distracted easily. As time goes on the animal no longer is able to be distracted. A study has shown that a lion had spent 48 percent of it’s time pacing. The reason that these animals pace is due to high levels of stress and future anxiety. Now something you might not always see at the zoo is over-grooming, and self mutilation. This is when the animal is grooming itself to the point that it goes bald, the animal may also pluck its feathers out. You might find animals like primates, birds, and some cats “over-grooming” or “self mutilating”. This also can be caused through stress. The reasons that these two behaviors occur are often due to an absence of necessities. Locomotion stereotypes like pacing are often due to restricted space, and the self-directed behaviors are caused by stress and anxiety. This is extremely unhealthy mentally for the animal, and the only way to solve it is to put the animals back in their natural habitat.
Now are zoos really all that bad? There are some pros on this topic. Zoo’s may help bring back animals that are close to extinction. If a zoo can reproduce animals this can increase the population of the animal kingdom. Zoos are often found in children’s childhood. Most of us have been to a zoo and have enjoyed it at a one point of our lives. I remember going to our public zoo all the time, we would ride the train or be walking watching the animals. One of my greatest memories of the zoo is when we went to go see a sea lion show. They were asking for volunteers, and I raised my hand, I was called on so I went up. They had me feed this sea lion which was giant to me because I was only three or four. This was so fun for me, and something I still remember today. The zoo can provide many activities like animal shows or obstacle courses. Zoos also often provide snacks and drinks, zoos try and make their zoo the most enjoyable zoo. We can’t forget about the animals themself. They are what makes a zoo a zoo. Sometime zoo’s will have famous animals and the zoo’s can trademark than animal for merchandise. With zoo’s making all this money people may ask her or himself, “Where does the money go…?”. The money doesn’t only go to the zoo for new animals and new exhibits, money also goes to their city if it is a public zoo. Lots of funding for cities may come from public zoos. This money then may be used for roads or education. This doesn’t make zoos look so bad, but remember that looks can be deceiving.
There are now laws on animal abuse, zoos defeat the purpose of that law. There are not many uses for zoos, they should be removed and replaced with something that doesn't break the law.