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Animals Should not be Kept in the Zoo
Animals Should not be Kept in the Zoo

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Zoos are an unsuitable environment for wild animals and should, therefore, be abolished. Firstly, zoo animals are kept in a very confined area compared with their vast natural habitat. Secondly, breeding programmes are far less successful than zoos claim. Thirdly, zoo animals are exposed to many diseases and other dangers.
Zoo animals are usually kept in very cramped enclosures and do not behave like their wild counterparts. Polar bears, for example, are given about 10 metres of walking space whereas in their Arctic home they roam for many hundreds of kilometres. Similarly, primates, big cats and birds are often confined in cages where they lack exercise and stimulation. Many animals develop unnatural habits such as pacing back and forth or swaying from side to side.
Supporters of zoos argue that they help to conserve endangered species, but in fact they are not very good at this. Even the world famous panda breeding programme has been very costly and unsuccessful. Also, zoo life does not prepare animals for the challenges of life in the wild. For example, two rare lynxes released into the wild in Colorado died from starvation even though the area was full of hares, which are a lynx’s natural prey.
The zoo is an unnatural environment that exposes animals to numerous dangers. Diseases often spread between species that would never live together naturally. For example, many Asian elephants have died in US zoos after catching herpes from African elephants. Furthermore, zoo animals are often exposed to chemicals, solvents and other toxic substances. Finally, it is common for visitors to tease and provoke caged animals.
In conclusion, therefore, it is not true to say that zoos are educational or that they help to protect endangered species. In reality, they only teach us how wild animals behave when they are confined in small spaces. Breeding programmes provide zoos with good publicity, but in fact most of them are failures. Finally, zoo animals are probably more at risk of dying from disease or poisoning than their wild counterparts. It is time that we abolished these cruel institutions!

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