There are many opinions on animals in captivity. Many people think that keeping animals in captivity is abusive and that we should not use these animals for our entertainment. This is true, animals should not be held in these cages. Other people think we are saving these animals because they are rehabilitating these animals and if they were in the wild they would die. Both of these opinions are true. With zoos there is no black and white, it is grey.
Many animal activists believe that the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to zoos. Doris Lin speaks on the standpoint of animal rights activists when saying a con about zoos is “we do not have a right to breed, capture and confine other animals, even if they are endangered. Being a member of the endangered species does not mean they have fewer rights.” This is quite true, God did not intend for animals to be put in cages. Some animals are bred in captivity and only know life caged and never have seen the wild. These animals that are held in captivity have high stress levels and suffer from boredom and confinement.
Breeding animals in captivity leads to a huge surplus of animals and this can lead to animals being sold to other zoos, circuses, and can even be slaughtered. Most programs that breed animals do not release the animals back into the wild, they are left in the zoo system. On the topic of whales being in captivity Naomi Rose speaks against it. Orcas in the wild have a longer life expectancy than those in captivity. Orcas that live in the wild have a life expectancy for females live up to 80-90 years and males 60-70 years. For orcas in captivity both male and females live up to their early 20s and maybe even late teens. Sea World has lost 26 orcas in the past 29 years. That is a considerable amount of orca deaths. When these orcas are in these pools their aggression levels and stress levels are high. There have been 4 deaths of whale trainers. As we can see orcas should not be held in captivity.
On the other hand there are some pros to zoos. Zoos bring people together and teach the public about endangered animals. This can be a great thing for a community. Zoos also help endangered species by giving them a safer home and breeding them because in the wild it may be hard for them to find a mate. “Zoos benefit conservation not only through direct efforts such as captive breeding, wild survival training and reintroduction but also in indirect ways (Aziz).” Almost 50 percent of people live in areas where disconnected from nature. So in these cities zoos and aquariums enrich the lives of the citizens and make them want to preserve animal life. “Research on captive animals increases knowledge of animal biology, genetics, behavior, interactions, food habits etc (Aziz).” These are all very good pros for zoos but, we see that there are a lot more cons.
Here are both the pros and cons for zoos. Ultimately we all have our own opinions about the effectiveness of zoos. After we see all the facts about zoos we see the grey areas. Zoos do a lot more harm than good when it comes to these wild animals. Animals deserve to live their lives free not in cadges for our entertainment.