Zoos: Approve of them, or not?

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  1. Just wondering what everyone on here thinks about zoos. Are you for them, or against them?

    Personally, I think zoos serve an important purpose in that it is very hard to motivate people to donate or support animal welfare causes if those people have never seen in person or touched that kind of animal. Pictures just aren't the same. For example, the IDEA of saving the Giant Panda is great in and of itself. However, if you've ever seen one of these amazing creatures in person, the "idea" becomes more solid and you're more likely to do something to save Ling Ling's fellow pandas.

    However, I am VERY against the type of zoos that the U.S. had in the past -- concrete cells that provide no stimulation coupled with bad care. At least now, zoos pay attention to not only sustenance, but also the emotional, social, and environmental support of the animals.

    What do you guys think?
  2. I love zoos. I think most of them do their best to keep the animals comfortable and happy. Whenever I travel I try to visit the local zoo. I lived in Chicago, so I've been to both Lincoln Park and Brookfield. I've been to the zoos in Milwaukee, Phoenix, London, Sidney and one in Italy, I think in Florence...
  3. There's good and bad sides to zoos.. the study of animals in closer proximity means that we can gain a better understanding of them and thus help them in the future for things like preservation of dwindling numbers. However, in the end, it's still a gold gilded prison.
  4. I am an animal keeper at a major zoo and I can only vouch for AZA acredited zoos. The standards are extremely high and the mindset is completely contemporary in keeping the quality of life for captive animals in the highest regard. An animal in the wild has many tragic circumstances to deal with (disease, poaching, fatal wounds, starvation due to land encroachment, etc.) and well cared for captive animals are actually the lucky ambassadors for their cousins in the wild. I wish there was this "shangrila" out there where all animals could live in peace but it just doesn't exist. An animal in the wild requires lots of space to hunt and find a safe place to sleep and eat without crossing over other species territories. In a zoo, if an animal has adequate space to sleep, eat and relax, it is content and healthy. Their space becomes their home, their territory and they get very attached to it, much like your dog or cat becomes attached to their "home". Remember, they were once wild too.
  5. I'm all for accredited zoos. But I don't care for animal circuses.
  6. I too don't really care to see animals "perform" or dressed in costumes. We do however train some animals to do certain things on command so we can examine them when necessary. And the things we train them to do reflect natural behaviors.
  7. I don't agree with circuses, seeing animals perform for an audience for the sake of 'entertainment' (plus the conditions the animals are kept in are horrendous)

    I have nothing against dog shows etc because that is just good training and the pets go home to their owners after a hard days work!

    I do agree with zoos - as long as the conditions are good and clean, i believe we are helping to preserve what would otherwise be extinct by now.:oh:
  8. sorry to keep chiming in guys but obviously this subject is very close to my heart - many species have been saved in conjunction with zoos and the SSPs (species survival programs). 2 species in particular, the golden headed lion tamarin and the arabian oryx - both would be extinct today if it were not for these programs.

    If you go to lazoo.org click on the "peninsular pronghorn" link. great article on their conservation efforts.

  9. Same here!

    I think many people can learn so much from zoos. I know it may sound petty, but my mom used to take us all to the Zoo and I learned about all the animals and different habitats. It is a great experience if it is an accredited Zoo
  10. Much like children!;)
  11. and some of them act like children too! (especially the primates!)
  12. LOL:lol: :lol:

    When i was much younger, my mum took my sister and i to one or two circuses (never really my thing tbh and as i've got older, i just dislike them totally)

    We also often went to the zoo for a day out, it taught me an awful lot about animals and how they behave. I think animals are always particularly fascinating to young children.

    Ok some of the enclosures i have seen the animals in are just a little too small for some of them and are nothing like their natural habitat - but at the end of the day, the way i see it - aren't they better off in there - safe, secure, looked after, protected, healthy, than suffering a fate of ending up in some new fangled-medicine or super luxury coat or table top..?
    Just my thoughts...;)
  13. yeah, the space is relative to the species. a whole new generation of animal keepers and curators are constantly working on improving the living conditions of captive animals. and oddly enough (because we think like humans) some animals do not require much space and actually feel more vulnerable to predators if they have "too much" space. thats why if you see some animals in a large enclosure keeping to just one spot, thats where they feel safe. so it does take alot of research and observation to determine what amount of space is proper for any particular species.
  14. Cute tamarin, bagnshoofetish, I would love to have a job that involved animals. I took an anthropology class last semester and had so much much fun learning about primates.

    I'm all for zoo's as long as the animals are treated good and not kept in small spaces, like cages. I love going to zoos!