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Dutchess_III's avatar

Should zoos be forbidden?

Asked by Dutchess_III (38313points) August 31st, 2017

I understand the knee jerk sympathy for the animals, but many of the animals at zoos are rescues. They’d be dead or in continuing abuse if not for that sanctuary. Also, the zoos need the revenue from visitors to fund the care the animals need.

What do you think?

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33 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I think it would be more profitable to turn them into factory farms so they can sell the meat.
Do you not want a delicious tiger steak or chimpanzee stew?

rebbel's avatar

Species preservation.
For that reason; no.

NomoreY_A's avatar

You’d beak the heart of every child on earth. Nay, I say.

Coloma's avatar

Wildlife and habitat conservation is one of my passions.
I do not agree with breeding non-threatened species to pull in the public for the “aww” draw of new babies. I also want to see VERY selective breeding programs and VERY large and enriching enclosures.
Well designed and well managed zoos,are, for the most part, vital to conservation for many endangered species, including select breeding programs.
One of my biggest passions are the large cats and they need all the help they can get.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t think they should be forbidden. There are probably plenty of zoos that should be closed or improved, but there can be and are positive aspects to zoos that benefit both us and the species confined.

Zaku's avatar

No, I don’t think they should be forbidden, but I think they should treat the animals as well as they can, and relocate suffering ones to better places (as is sometimes done). Also I think that they should use animals which can’t be returned to their proper wild habitat (not capturing wild animals from habitats just to stock a zoo). I think good zoos are reasonable places for some animals, and that they serve purposes there, mainly exposing people to wild animals for education/imagination and compassion purposes, and also research and possibly helping preserve endangered species.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We have a great zoo in Wichita. They keep expanding, mainly to give the animals more room.

I always feel sorry for the African dogs. I guess in their native habitat they just run an average of 20 miles a day. At the zoo they just run around and around and around their pen. I haven’t been there in a long, ling time though. Maybe they expanded their habitat too.
They are endangered.

Coloma's avatar

Hate to say it but..I think some live prey released in the predators enclosures would be an enriching element. Those wild dogs would love to chase down a rabbit or two. Sounds cruel but hey…enrichment. New and stimulating experiences are vital for all animals well being just like humans.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think it’s cruel…but probably not a good idea.

JLeslie's avatar

I am more and more uneasy when I’m at the zoo, especially when the zoo has the animals in smaller confined spaces. If they are rescues and have plenty of space then I’m inclined to say it’s ok, but I like it better if they don’t know they’re being observed. I just put myself in they’re place. Would I want other animals or humans watching me do everything?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, the zoos need the revenue.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Are you talking to me? You mean revenue brought in by people watching? I think a lot of zoos have one way viewing. But, many of them are wide open spaces.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III It would have to be after hours, the public can’t handle real nature. Oooh nooo…poor bunny! LOL

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Personally, I don’t think I would do well in a cage and I’m a fairly domesticated animal, so I have a bit of empathy for that big cat that is pacing back and forth in what looks to me like quiet rage, or those apes, LOL, that throw their shit at the audience, or the llama or camel that lures a human close by looking all cute and friendly, then spits a huge loogie on them or bites the hand that feeds them. LOL. I think it is good, though, that humans get some exposure to the wild life. But we could do better.

I think Busch Gardens has a better idea—A vast, natural enclosure where the animals have enough room to migrate, have families, form herds, live out more natural lives with a monorail above that humans can observe them from. Isn’t that what we really want to see? To watch them in their natural habitat doing their thing unmolested? We can get the up-close shots on film. We can see the births on closed circuit TV live from around the world.

That’s the way to do it, I think, with a little education on their endangerment and need for protection and conservation quietly slipped in over the intercom along with interesting facts and descriptions of unique behaviours.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Are you sure Busch Gardens? The zoo there never felt very big to me, unless the back area is huge, or I was just not really taking it in well. Animal Kingdom in Disney feels ok, the Animals get to roam, but the “ride” drives right through it. Literally, I have been in trucks that had to stop and wait a good 3 or 4 minutes for giraffes to cross the road.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Well, I haven’t been to BG Tampa since the early 1970’s, but it was huge when I was last there, but maybe there has been some city encroachment since. It was way outside Tampa in those days. I used to do my college homework in the big treehouse there after classes at nearby USF everyday. It was one of the monorail stops. I think it was a big Banyan with a big rustic picnic platform and hip roof about 30 feet off the ground. The elephants hung out there and I would toss them peanuts. LOL. There was a big pond nearby for them to spray themselves and their young. It was the coolest, most peaceful place in Florida to do homework. My father was head of Purchasing. Free passes.

Coloma's avatar

Here’s a great clip of some Siberian Tigers getting a little drone prey action to stimulate their dull, daily routine.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

LOL. Everybody’s gotta eat sometime.

JLeslie's avatar

^^My memory easily might be confusing things. I was there a few times back about 4 years ago, but I don’t remember the details of the animal areas well.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^It was called “The African Savannah” in those days. It was huge and surrounded the brewery on three sides. The only things that far outside Tampa in those days were a few scattered neighborhoods and the big USF campus a couple of miles away.

imrainmaker's avatar

What do you think about Dolphin shows?

johnpowell's avatar

Back when I was around ten we went to the Denver zoo and they had this big polar bear exhibit. There was a huge tank with a glass front and the polar bears would swim up to the glass and play around. I thought it was the coolest thing and polar bears became my favorite animal. They are terrifying and awesome.

Then years later I saw a picture of a polar bear on a little ice raft. That is when I started to care about climate change.

On one hand I think it is good for people to see animals that they wouldn’t otherwise see. Hopefully they will start caring about things they don’t normally encounter. But yeah, it would be nice if the animals were treated better.

JLeslie's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I doubt BG gave up land to development, but it has become very developed around the park. It’s mostly commercial, and feels a little sketchy, and I always think when I go there that it’s such a crappy area for tourists to have to drive through.

One thing I remember one time when I was there was music was playing and the elephants were seemingly swaying/dancing to the music. Makes me smile thinking about it.

seawulf575's avatar

Zoos give us an opportunity to see and learn about the various species on our planet, where they live, how they live, how simple changes in their environment can threaten them. They also provide a place for us to attempt to preserve threatened species. No, zoos should not be forbidden.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think releasing live prey into the enclosure is a good idea, but it has nothing to do with the squeamishness of the public @Coloma. The cats interact with humans from the time they are small. To release live prey could awaken some of their more wild and ferocious instincts and make them a bigger danger than they already are when they have human interaction.

I think dolphin and orca shows suck for the animals, @imrainmaker I’ve seen Blackfish. It’s horrifying.

I wish there was someway to release them into a wilder settings. They have a zoo in Oklahoma called Arbuckle Wilderness Park. People stay in their cars.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Nah, that wouldn’t be an issue. Any wild big cat is already a high risk for aggression to it’s keepers. Some will display mellower behavior than others but none are to be trusted, ever.
The keepers are not, physically, interacting with the big cats, only feeding them and monitoring their confinement when cleaning, or being tranquilized for examinations/health care etc.

The cats certainly associate their keepers voice and know their daily routine, feeding schedule etc. but they are not treated like pets, they are very carefully managed with an emphasis on safety. A big cat having the fun of chasing a rabbit or chicken down once in awhile would not change the aggression risk towards humans in the least.
I too do not agree with Orca and Dolphin shows, time to phase out the Sea World circus acts for sure.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think they are phasing out Sea World acts.

AshlynM's avatar

Not forbidden but I’d like to see the animals treated better, espcially during the scorching summer months.

jca's avatar

I think zoos that keep the animals in large, natural-style enclosures (like the Bronx Zoo or Disney’s Animal Kingdom) can do good things for conservation, breeding and education.

Local animal parks that keep wild animals in cages and small enclosures should be phased out. If people avoid these places, they may be forced to close and that’s a good thing, as long as the animals are sent someplace nice, like a sanctuary.

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus just ended their elephant shows, due to public pressure about how elephants are captured, bred and raised in captivity. I felt like it’s a good thing that they ended the elephant act, but if the elephants end up going to another circus, it really doesn’t mean anything positive for them.

Everyone should see the movie “Blackfish.” Here’s more on it:

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I recently saw a circus routine on TV that had a fake elephant, and I found it sufficient. It was an interesting costume, pretty, I liked it very much.

flutherother's avatar

Good God is it not enough that we have fake presidents and fake news, now we have fake elephants as well? ;-)

JLeslie's avatar

^^It was cute. It wasn’t even trying to look real.

JLeslie's avatar

I found the video. Around minute 1:45 the elephant walks on stage.

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