Are zoos cruel to wild animals? We all know that zoos are a shelter and kind of museum for wild animals. The zoo authority is supposed to import rare wild animals from different places and keep them in the zoo with care and safety. Common man is allowed to watch these animals and understand their lifestyle and habitat. Some extinct animals and birds may be bred and reared in zoos. This not only ensures the safety and existence of these animals or birds but also helps the future generation to have a varied and first- hand knowledge of the animal species.
This is what people like you and me believe. Many people believe that Zoos are simply parks where we can go visit animals. This isn’t true. Many zoos use animals for other purposes. 1. Zoos are known to have supplied animals for use in experiments. 2. Zoos are known to have supplied animals to the exotic meat industry. One zoo openly sold ostriches to ostrich farms. Another has supplied bison to a farm involved in breeding them for the bison meat trade. 3. Animals from UK zoos have ended up in circuses. 4. Zoos have sent animals to appalling conditions. The orang-utan , whose name was Jimmy James, was shipped out unaccompanied. Jimmy James survived alone in his cage for four years until his death. 5. Animals can die prematurely in zoos. In 1991 twenty-five Asiatic Lions were born in zoos around the world – 22 of them died. In the same year 166 cheetahs were born in zoos, of which 112 died. 6. Surplus animals are destroyed or sold. Some animals breed well in captivity and their young are always appealing. But what happens to them when they get older? 7. Zoo animals may carry disease.
Captive bred animals may pose a threat to wild populations by introducing disease. 8. Animals are still taken from the wild. Young elephants have come to UK zoos (and circuses) from Southern Africa, where they have witnessed their families being culled (killed by shooting). The young are sometimes tied to their dead mothers before being sent to dealers who sell them on to buyers. 9. There is a lack of genetic diversity in captive bred animals. We believe that in the UK this reduced gene pool has led to some young, for example snow leopard cubs, being bred with congenital deformities.
Most zoos collect ‘crowd pullers’. Most zoo collections are comprised of large charismatic species, such as giraffes, elephants, tigers etc. These animals are ‘crowd pullers’, and are kept in captivity for the benefit of zoos themselves. Animals do not like to be snatched out of their natural environment and placed in a strange enclosure any less than you or I would. Many animals are abused by the very Zoos who pledge to care for them. Zoos breed animals for horrible animal experiments and to produce babies to attract more visitors so they can increase their profits.
When they breed too many animals and create a surplus, zoos are known to kill their own animals, Or worse, they sell them to hunting ranches. Zoos claim to educate people and save endangered species, but visitors often leave without having learned anything meaningful about the animals’ natural behaviour, intelligence or beauty. Furthermore, most animals in zoos are not endangered species. Despite their professed concern for animals, zoos often put profit ahead of animal welfare. Even under the best circumstances, captivity is cruel for animals who are meant to roam free.
Zoos’ manufactured habitats usually preclude(restricts) natural behaviours like flying, swimming, running, hunting, climbing, scavenging and partner selection. The physical and mental frustrations of captivity lead to abnormal, neurotic and even self-destructive behaviour, such as self-mutilation. PETA, an animal welfare organization, investigators visited many zoos throughout India and found appalling neglect, decrepit facilities and animal suffering on a massive scale. Every facility was seriously deficient in terms of food, drinking water, housing, veterinary care, environmental enrichment, safety and security.
Countless animals were found to have no food or water. Many live in concrete and iron cages which do not have any enrichment or even a blade of grass. Some cages are so small that the animals can barely move. Many animals exhibit neurotic and abnormal behaviour, including pacing, head-bobbing and extreme agitation. Some have visible injuries and are clearly ill. Tiger, lions,cheetahs,etc. , are the most affected animals due to captivity. They are removed from their original habitat and given a very cooped up area to live, which restricts most of their basic activities.
They start feeling uneasy, scared and insecure. This falters their natural growth both physically and psychologically. The symptoms of this behaviour are seen clearly if you visit the zoo. You can see these animals pacing their cages restlessly. Animals are often housed inappropriately. In several facilities, PETA found predators housed in close proximity to animals who are their natural prey – a situation which causes extreme stress to both types of animals. Some social primates are housed individually, and one elephant was seen chained by both front legs.
Many animals have no shelter to protect them from weather extremes or to give them privacy. Animals were observed eating debris, rotten food and items which were thrown into their cages. Moats which are supposed to be filled with water are often dry, fencing is rusted and insecure, and cages are barren and bleak. Some facilities have few or no staff members present – much less security. Many zoos which are officially closed are still functioning. Visitors were seen feeding the animals with no zoo personnel in sight. Our investigators saw visitors teasing and taunting animals and throwing rocks and debris.
Few or no educational materials were available. PETA had this message for anyone who is considering reporting a situation involving animal cruelty, neglect or improper zoo practices: “Please don’t give animals in need the cold shoulder. Instead, be their hero and ensure that they receive the protection and care they deserve. ” Animals held captive in circuses, zoos and other entertainment venues need you to speak out for them. Educate your community about why, for animals’ sake, parents should take their children for a hike or to a cricket game instead of patronising cruel animal acts.