Why are zoo's bad and animal sanctuaries/shelters good? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-20-2009, 10:46 AM
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From the Vegan perspective of abolition? The idea that animals shouldn't be kept in cages/enclosures at all.



Just curious.
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#2 Old 08-20-2009, 10:49 AM
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In my opinion farm sanctuaries are better because they rescue animals that other wise would be killed/tortured and give them relative freedom with security. I personally make donations to one such sanctuary and am always touched by the animal's stories.

I eat everything that nature voluntarily gives: fruits, vegetables, and the products of plants. But I ask you to spare me what animals are forced to surrender: meat, milk, and cheese. ~Author Unknown
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#3 Old 08-20-2009, 10:57 AM
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In my opinions farm sanctuaries are better because they rescue animals that other wise would be killed/tortured and give them relative freedom with security. I personally make donations to one such sanctuary and am always touched by the animal's stories.



But zoos keep and breed endangered animals that may otherwise be extinct in the wild. I'm also under the impression that they also do a lot of research. It's unfortunate that they have to gain their funding from being a visitor attraction but I believe good zoos are doing an important job.



That said there are some bloody awful zoos in the world that should be closed down. Never, ever go to Barcelona zoo, it's a terribly sad place.
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#4 Old 08-20-2009, 03:55 PM
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Animal Sanctuary's and Rescues offer a home to animals that come from bad situations and provide a place to live in peace. There goal is not to stay open, they would be happy to close because that means there would be no more homeless/abused/neglected animals out there.





One of the main reasons people think zoos are good is because they are told that a zoo is "Educational" however this isn't true. The animals are not in a natural habitat where we could learn about what they eat, how they live, etc. They are simply on display so we can SEE them.



They also show kids that it is ok to keep these "wild" animals in enclosures that can be 100 times smaller then their home range.



Captive breeding programs from zoos are also not as good as people are led to believe. Earlier this year, five lynxes were released in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado's high country as part of a $1.4 million program to help revive the species. By the beginning of March, two of the Canadian lynxes were found dead after apparently starving to death. Even though snowshoe hare, the lynx's main prey, are abundant in the area, neither cat was able to kill one. "We know from our survey work last year and from tracks we're seeing in the area that there is an adequate snowshoe hare population," said Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist Gene Byrne. "We also know that there will be mortality, as there is in any reintroduction effort."



That's just my 2 cents



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#5 Old 08-20-2009, 04:03 PM
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Captive breeding programs from zoos are also not as good as people are led to believe. Earlier this year, five lynxes were released in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado's high country as part of a $1.4 million program to help revive the species. By the beginning of March, two of the Canadian lynxes were found dead after apparently starving to death. Even though snowshoe hare, the lynx's main prey, are abundant in the area, neither cat was able to kill one. "We know from our survey work last year and from tracks we're seeing in the area that there is an adequate snowshoe hare population," said Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist Gene Byrne. "We also know that there will be mortality, as there is in any reintroduction effort."



Wow, who would think it's a good idea to release animals into the wild without checking if they can actually feed themselves first? That sounds like a really badly thought out program, I can only hope most aren't like this.
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#6 Old 08-25-2009, 03:59 PM
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I'm curious about this as well. I don't want to go to a zoo, but are there alternatives for animals close to extinction? are there places out there that are more sanctuary than zoo for exotic animals?
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#7 Old 08-25-2009, 04:04 PM
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Why are zoo's bad and animal sanctuaries/shelters good?



Because the purpose of a zoo is to make money. They may say their purpose is to save endangered species, or to educate the public, but their goal is to make a profit.



The main goal of animal sanctuaries is to provide a good home for unwanted or abandoned animals.



It would be lovely if no animals were kept in cages. But zoos are adding to the problem by breeding animals, endangered or not. Sanctuaries are usually involved in educating people about neutering their pets and preventing over-population.
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#8 Old 08-25-2009, 04:19 PM
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Is it the case that all the animals in zoos have been rescued from abandonment, hunting etc.? If not, then that's a part of the answer.



Also, many animals at shelters or sanctuaries are domesticated and couldn't survive in the wild.

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#9 Old 08-28-2009, 11:23 AM
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So basically the argument boils down to.



Zoo's=exploitation.



but sanctuaries are about helping animals.



But what about zoos that help with breeding animals and returning them to the wild?
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#10 Old 08-28-2009, 12:58 PM
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But zoos keep and breed endangered animals that may otherwise be extinct in the wild. I'm also under the impression that they also do a lot of research. It's unfortunate that they have to gain their funding from being a visitor attraction but I believe good zoos are doing an important job.



That said there are some bloody awful zoos in the world that should be closed down. Never, ever go to Barcelona zoo, it's a terribly sad place.



Trying to keep endangered species going is just the excuse zoos use.

Who benefits from an endangered species being kept in a zoo?
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#11 Old 08-28-2009, 01:02 PM
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I'm curious about this as well. I don't want to go to a zoo, but are there alternatives for animals close to extinction? are there places out there that are more sanctuary than zoo for exotic animals?



Animals becoming extinct only really maters to humans from a selfish view point.

The way their extinction effects the eco system is the real problem, but most people dont care about that, all they care about is being able to see certain animals, be it in a zoo or on tv.
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#12 Old 08-28-2009, 03:09 PM
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But what about zoos that help with breeding animals and returning them to the wild?



It's more about breeding rare or aesthetically pleasing species to attract members of the public and get increased donations and more money from entry fees. Many of the offspring are shipped around to other zoos in exchange for another profitable animal or even money, which badly affects their social groups and welfare.



These animals are forced to live with other animals that they may not choose to live with in the wild. Animals who are naturally inclined to spend their lives solitary except for in breeding season are often forced to live with their mates all year round. They're basically forced to breed with each other and for what? To be goggled at for the profit and pleasure of humans before having their offspring stolen and sent to other cages, or sent out in the wild to very likely die.



Few of the ones returned to the wild survive long enough to establish breeding programs. There are success stories, but the press don't print the many occasions when released animals are killed.
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#13 Old 08-29-2009, 11:55 AM
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Well for example I know that the LA zoo (I live in Southern California) has done work to help bring up the population of Condors. From what I understand they do have them at the zoo, but don't let the public view them because they might mate less.



I think that's responsible.
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#14 Old 08-29-2009, 01:00 PM
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Well for example I know that the LA zoo (I live in Southern California) has done work to help bring up the population of Condors. From what I understand they do have them at the zoo, but don't let the public view them because they might mate less.

So is the zoo an environment that can compare with being free in the wild, in terms of meeting the condors species-specific needs?

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#15 Old 09-01-2009, 11:33 AM
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Probably not, I haven't seen it because they don't have them out. But couldn't you make the same argument about sanctuaries?
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#16 Old 09-01-2009, 12:05 PM
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You could, but there's another competing argument: it's not a good idea to release domesticated animals into the wild. Condors are different.

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#17 Old 09-03-2009, 04:40 AM
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I personally disagree with zoos, being caged up for human pleaser is not a life for a lion etc. And a few zoos remove an animal from the wild to breed them in a cage which is terrible. Animals deserve to be free and deserve never to see a human being- which probably rarely happens. Yes, animals in zoos normally live longer but wouldnt you rather live shorter and happy, free life than a longer boring, caged up life?
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#18 Old 09-03-2009, 07:41 AM
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From what I have seen here nobody has read up on conservation. yes zoos are bad animals are suffering etc. But there is something else going on that people don't realise.



Zoos allow people to "oggle" at very special types of animals referred to as a Flagship species. In terms of conservation biology, there are several factors which make an ideal flagship species:



1: charismatic (cute/cuddly/ferocious etc) ie something to capture the public's imagination

2: large home ranges

3: must be threatened/endangered



So, we go to a zoo and see a Sumatran tiger. They are beautiful and terrifying. The kids are impressed. We read a sign with some info about how they are going extinct because the forests of Indonesia are being cut down to grow palm oil. We put a few coins in a tin and forget about it.



Some of the money from that tin will go towards protecting the habitat of the tiger. But the tiger needs a massive home range, some species require up to 1000 square kilometres JUST FOR A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL. If we set aside enough cash to protect that area of habitat, we may save only one tiger. But think of how many other plants and animals in that area will also be saved. This is the secret of conservation. You need to get people aware of the problem. They are not going to give a **** if Lendell's vomit fly is endangered. But all the animals, plants, fungi etc in a tiger habitat threatened by deforestation are going to die as well if that habitat is lost, whether they are members of a threatened species or not.



And what of all those other species they keep in zoos which are not flagship species? Well, they can hardly draw a crowd with half a dozen animals, can they? So while some of those animals will be suffering in captivity, there is a chance that suffering will save a great many others. Maybe only a small chance, but that's better than no chance. So unless you want to kiss goodbye to all the vast areas of wilderness which are sure to be lost without intervention from the relatively rich nations, I'd say be appreciative of the zoos as they carry an important message to those who are not as enlightened as we might be.
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#19 Old 09-03-2009, 07:41 AM
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From what I have seen here nobody has read up on conservation. yes zoos are bad animals are suffering etc. But there is something else going on that people don't realise.



Zoos allow people to "oggle" at very special types of animals referred to as a Flagship species. In terms of conservation biology, there are several factors which make an ideal flagship species:



1: charismatic (cute/cuddly/ferocious etc) ie something to capture the public's imagination

2: large home ranges

3: must be threatened/endangered



So, we go to a zoo and see a Sumatran tiger. They are beautiful and terrifying. The kids are impressed. We read a sign with some info about how they are going extinct because the forests of Indonesia are being cut down to grow palm oil. We put a few coins in a tin and forget about it.



Some of the money from that tin will go towards protecting the habitat of the tiger. But the tiger needs a massive home range, some species require up to 1000 square kilometres JUST FOR A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL. If we set aside enough cash to protect that area of habitat, we may save only one tiger. But think of how many other plants and animals in that area will also be saved. This is the secret of conservation. You need to get people aware of the problem. They are not going to give a **** if Lendell's vomit fly is endangered. But all the animals, plants, fungi etc in a tiger habitat threatened by deforestation are going to die as well if that habitat is lost, whether they are members of a threatened species or not.



And what of all those other species they keep in zoos which are not flagship species? Well, they can hardly draw a crowd with half a dozen animals, can they? So while some of those animals will be suffering in captivity, there is a chance that suffering will save a great many others. Maybe only a small chance, but that's better than no chance. So unless you want to kiss goodbye to all the vast areas of wilderness which are sure to be lost without intervention from the relatively rich nations, I'd say be appreciative of the zoos as they carry an important message to those who are not as enlightened as we might be.
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#20 Old 09-04-2009, 02:52 AM
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i hate zoos, still
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#21 Old 09-05-2009, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by adam antichrist View Post

From what I have seen here nobody has read up on conservation. yes zoos are bad animals are suffering etc. But there is something else going on that people don't realise.



Zoos allow people to "oggle" at very special types of animals referred to as a Flagship species. In terms of conservation biology, there are several factors which make an ideal flagship species:



1: charismatic (cute/cuddly/ferocious etc) ie something to capture the public's imagination

2: large home ranges

3: must be threatened/endangered



So, we go to a zoo and see a Sumatran tiger. They are beautiful and terrifying. The kids are impressed. We read a sign with some info about how they are going extinct because the forests of Indonesia are being cut down to grow palm oil. We put a few coins in a tin and forget about it.



Some of the money from that tin will go towards protecting the habitat of the tiger. But the tiger needs a massive home range, some species require up to 1000 square kilometres JUST FOR A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL. If we set aside enough cash to protect that area of habitat, we may save only one tiger. But think of how many other plants and animals in that area will also be saved. This is the secret of conservation. You need to get people aware of the problem. They are not going to give a **** if Lendell's vomit fly is endangered. But all the animals, plants, fungi etc in a tiger habitat threatened by deforestation are going to die as well if that habitat is lost, whether they are members of a threatened species or not.



And what of all those other species they keep in zoos which are not flagship species? Well, they can hardly draw a crowd with half a dozen animals, can they? So while some of those animals will be suffering in captivity, there is a chance that suffering will save a great many others. Maybe only a small chance, but that's better than no chance. So unless you want to kiss goodbye to all the vast areas of wilderness which are sure to be lost without intervention from the relatively rich nations, I'd say be appreciative of the zoos as they carry an important message to those who are not as enlightened as we might be.



That's what I was thinking to. I know our local zoo does palm oil awareness stuff.
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#22 Old 09-05-2009, 02:11 PM
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I know all about conservation and zoos, thanks.



But I know MORE about animal behaviour and welfare, being that I have a degree in that subject, and I know that zoos are in no way good for the animals inside them. And for me, saving an acre of habitat is NOT worth the sacrifice of animals in zoos.



I, personally, would not choose to be imprisoned for the rest of my life with people I might not like or choose to be with, be forced to breed with them, have my children taken away, denied freedom of my natural behaviour and had people pay a few bucks to stare at me in my cage. Even if the money they paid went to a great cause. And if I'm not willing to do it, and you're not willing to do it, we shouldn't support it being done to others.
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#23 Old 09-05-2009, 02:47 PM
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^ +1

I don't really like zoos, especially when there are animals that aren't in their proper habitat.

However, I like Zoo Tycoon, purely because I like to build up a zoo full of lions and tigers and set them loose on the unsuspecting public.

:P
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#24 Old 09-05-2009, 06:19 PM
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I know all about conservation and zoos, thanks.



But I know MORE about animal behaviour and welfare, being that I have a degree in that subject, and I know that zoos are in no way good for the animals inside them. And for me, saving an acre of habitat is NOT worth the sacrifice of animals in zoos.



I, personally, would not choose to be imprisoned for the rest of my life with people I might not like or choose to be with, be forced to breed with them, have my children taken away, denied freedom of my natural behaviour and had people pay a few bucks to stare at me in my cage. Even if the money they paid went to a great cause. And if I'm not willing to do it, and you're not willing to do it, we shouldn't support it being done to others.



so you'd be happy to sit back and watch animals die of starvation as their prey species are killed, see them hunted to extinction as they move in to populated areas in search of food, or see them crushed beneath bulldozer tracks and falling trees?



Oh wait, you'll never have to see that because it is happening somewhere else. So what are you going to do, pretend it's not happening?



Sometimes the only solution has problems of it's own. If you can come up with a better solution for raising money and awareness about the need for environmental preservation then let's hear it. I'll be 100% behind it.
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#25 Old 09-05-2009, 09:13 PM
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so you'd be happy to sit back and watch animals die of starvation as their prey species are killed, see them hunted to extinction as they move in to populated areas in search of food, or see them crushed beneath bulldozer tracks and falling trees?

Zoos != restoration of endangered or threatened species in their native habitat. There's something about generations of captive-bred and raised wildlife and exotics that you're missing. They don't "go home," and the excess from captive breeding programs of non-endangered species go to brokers, dealers, auctions, canned hunts, and roadside hell holes. Yeah, your accredited zoo, too, via a dealer, because outright and upfront sales are prohibited.



Zoos != the end of logging and reclamation of habitat from agribusiness annexation. Criminalization and prosecution of those who engage in habitat destruction through commercial privatization does work.



Quote:
Sometimes the only solution has problems of it's own. If you can come up with a better solution for raising money and awareness about the need for environmental preservation then let's hear it. I'll be 100% behind it.

Come up with something better than the AZA's own assessment of the efficacy of its "education and conservation" efforts and people will listen to you.

Keep on freepin' on

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#26 Old 09-06-2009, 02:44 AM
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so you'd be happy to sit back and watch animals die of starvation as their prey species are killed, see them hunted to extinction as they move in to populated areas in search of food, or see them crushed beneath bulldozer tracks and falling trees?



Oh wait, you'll never have to see that because it is happening somewhere else. So what are you going to do, pretend it's not happening?



Um well, I saw a lot of it in South Africa. But keep on making false assumptions about my life, it sure makes you look clever!



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Sometimes the only solution has problems of it's own. If you can come up with a better solution for raising money and awareness about the need for environmental preservation then let's hear it. I'll be 100% behind it.



If you think it's the only solution, it's YOU who needs to think more about this. Do you seriously think zoos are the only organisations who promote concerns about loss of habitat? What about charities like Greenpeace and the WWF?



Why do zoos need to trap animals in small cages that in no way resemble their natural habitats to prove a point? Oh right, it's not because of raising awareness - it's to make money. Most of which is put into the staff's pockets, NOT the selfless preservation of habitat in poorer countries.
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#27 Old 09-06-2009, 06:15 AM
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Um well, I saw a lot of it in South Africa. But keep on making false assumptions about my life, it sure makes you look clever!







If you think it's the only solution, it's YOU who needs to think more about this. Do you seriously think zoos are the only organisations who promote concerns about loss of habitat? What about charities like Greenpeace and the WWF?



Why do zoos need to trap animals in small cages that in no way resemble their natural habitats to prove a point? Oh right, it's not because of raising awareness - it's to make money. Most of which is put into the staff's pockets, NOT the selfless preservation of habitat in poorer countries.





You'll notice i didn't say it was the only solution.



Like I said earlier, zoos aren't perfect, but this is just one of those issues where it makes no sense to maintain an all or nothing abolitionist perspective as there is such a wide array of conditions and circumstances involved.



Are you aware that not all zoos keep animals in tiny cages?



Are you aware that not everybody is going to be interested in the message greenpeace or WWF offer (which are two of the most corrupt NGOs in the environmental movement btw).



Regardless of how many other orgs are promoting conservaton, there are people (children in particular) who will respond best to seeing wildlife firsthand.



Cast your mind back to when you were in your bio labs, did you learn better by doing things yourself or the stuff you read in a book? If it is the former, then you are like most people and will be more affected by things which you are personally exposed to. If the people who walk past the petitions and turn off the wildlife docos can be reached by getting in touch with the plight of the world's animals in a zoo, then that is a good thing. Because how else are they going to get that message?



Now if you want to pretend I am trying to defend all practises in all zoos, then you are a fool because I said very clearly from the outset that there are problems and I do not ignore that. The point I'm making is that there are some zoos which are actually helping.



I think what I'm getting out of this conversation is that I was very lucky at the age of 8 to go to a zoo where the animals are given heaps of space, it wasn't depressing like a city zoo and they happen to have some of the most successful captive breeding programs in the world. I guess most people didn't have that opportunity.
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#28 Old 09-10-2009, 01:01 AM
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Just playing devil's advocate here but does anyone think that zoo's at least enlighten the public to the diversity of life on Earth outside of one's own little world? I mean can you see any good to at least showing people that it's not just our planet but we share it with others?
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#29 Old 09-10-2009, 02:25 AM
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I've been to quite a few zoos and there are often animals which just look sad and are pacing up and down - the polar bears, lions and tigers at Edinburgh zoo are examples.



My kids have been to zoos to see the animals and other animal petting centres to get up close but I agree that groups such as WWF and other conservation groups that do their work in the field are more suitable.



I think there are a lot of zoos that should be closed down unless a real justification can be made for keeping them open - the model should be based on conservation and rehabilitation (just like sanctuaries).



I don't agree with China 'gifting' pandas to zoos as political gestures.
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#30 Old 09-10-2009, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by adam antichrist View Post

Are you aware that not all zoos keep animals in tiny cages?





I think what I'm getting out of this conversation is that I was very lucky at the age of 8 to go to a zoo where the animals are given heaps of space, it wasn't depressing like a city zoo and they happen to have some of the most successful captive breeding programs in the world. I guess most people didn't have that opportunity.



I would put money on the assumption that the big enclosures you saw did not allow the inhabitant/s expression of natural behaviour. The problem is not always space, it's just the problem that zoo critics are most aware of.



I had to go to a zoo in Kent for the first year of my uni course. We all had to pick a species and do a behaviour observation. I chose to do mine on the capybaras, because I love capybaras. They had a large enclosure of grass and indoor space with bedding materials. It was a pleasant enclosure and the general public would probably think it was just fine. But do you know what they didn't have? A body of water. They had a drinking bowl, sure, but no pond or any water deep enough to submerge in. And capybaras are semi-aqueous: in the wild, they spend MOST of their time in the water. They go in the water when they are scared, threatened or stressed, and it helps them cope. This enclosure was not meeting their needs at all, even though it was adequately roomy.



My friend did hers on the elephants, and I went to see how she was getting on. They had a very big enclosure indeed. The part next to the path was concrete with large shelters, then there was a gate that led to a slope of grassland. But the only form of enrichment they had was a few tree branches scattered around the concrete area.



One thing to remember about enclosure design is you can build one a square mile large, but if the animal only uses the area around his food bowls and enrichment objects you might as well put him in a battery cage. Smaller enclosures can sometimes be better, in terms of welfare, than larger ones. But no matter how large a zoo enclosure is, it is never going to be enough. Most of the larger animals in zoos would travel miles and miles in the course of a day. Expanding their enclosure by a few square metres makes very little difference to their behavioural needs.



But the fact remains that a zoo enclosure can never mimic natural conditions for a wild animal. 'Naturalistic' enclosures are designed to look like the animal's habitat to a human. Do you think a snake in a rainforest vivarium is really fooled that she's in the rainforest? She's not. It doesn't smell right, it doesn't taste right, it doesn't feel like home.



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Originally Posted by amaroque View Post

Just playing devil's advocate here but does anyone think that zoo's at least enlighten the public to the diversity of life on Earth outside of one's own little world? I mean can you see any good to at least showing people that it's not just our planet but we share it with others?



I think that would be a good message to send out.



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I think there are a lot of zoos that should be closed down unless a real justification can be made for keeping them open - the model should be based on conservation and rehabilitation (just like sanctuaries).



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