“We have been born into a society that accepts animals in zoos as commonplace but the invention of the zoo dates back thousands of years — to an era when people who looked different were also put on display” (Animals Australia). It has become common today to dismiss the actions that take place in zoos. In this day and age a trip to the zoo is more for entertainment purposes than educational, and more for profit than for conservation. With all the articles that flood in about zoos, it is ludicrous that people still are able to support zoos. So what is it that these wildlife parks are doing?
First let us address the fact that people are still gullible enough to believe that zoos main purpose is for conservation for endangered animals, when it is clear most of the animals aren’t endangered at all. This is not to say that the evidence is right in front of the eyes of zoo attendees, it is more to say that the people who own and run zoos hide what the true purpose of having a zoo is. In fact zoos tend to over breed their animals, this resulting in having to get rid of the animals in various ways. In the article For the Animals, the Zoo Is the Unhappiest Place on Earth the author explains as to what happens to the unwanted offspring. “Some babies are sold into animal experimentation; others are sent to livestock auctions and killed or eaten; others are sold to circuses… where they spend a lifetime being tortured and abused for "entertainment"” (Porter). You would think that a place that is dedicated to animals is a safe place for these creatures, yet in actuality it is quite the opposite. On the 9th of February, 2014, a baby giraffe by the name of Marius was killed in the Copenhagen Zoo and fed to the lions due to having genes that were too common for breeding. When the public had heard of the speculation of killing Marius, the animal lovers of the world were up in arms, but that did not stop the Copenhagen Zoo from committing the murder as said in this article from The Guardian: “Copenhagen zoo carried out the killing despite a small group of protesters at the gates and an international petition which garnered more than 27,000 signatures, as well as offers from several zoos to rehouse the creature” (The Guardian). Later in the year the same zoo had euthanized two grown lions and their two 10 month old cubs in order to make room for a new male lion; it genuinely makes me wonder, how can these places still be up and running?
Ever seen a creature in a safari park with high energy and a visible positive attitude? Yeah, me neither. For people that do not pay attention to problems that a zoo emanates, surely they can see the sorrow within the animals. For instance in the PETA article that describes thirteen accounts of wildlife parks being defective, they bring up a news article about penguins being put on antidepressants. In this report about the penguins they discuss why they were prescribed medication: “Wild Humboldt penguins are used to withstanding inhospitable weather in the coastal areas of South America, but those living in captivity in Scarborough are struggling with the constant wind and rain lashing the country” (The Guardian). If the fact that animals are having to be prescribed medication due to being depressed since they were put in the wrong climate, then it must be clear that there is nothing caring about a zoo at all.
Is there anything beneficial about zoos? There must be right? Oh aren’t they educational to the people that visit them? Well to some extent, if you want to go to the zoo to learn about how animals in captivity live. But if you are wanting to learn about animals in their natural habitat and how their day to day life is, it might be better to visit a sanctuary with rescued animals that allows visitors or checkout a documentary, you could even visit a nearby park to see what roams within the place you live.