Modern zoos

Llama

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This is probably going to be more of a discussion than a question, and it's probably been asked thousands of times, but here we go...

Does anyone else agree that most modern zoos are good? Obviously animals are better off in the wild (in most cases), but I think modern zoos are so much different from how they used to be, especially here in the UK. Although there's some things that I don't really agree with, the majority of zoos in the UK are now focused mainly on conservation and breeding species to increase numbers and prevent them from becoming extinct. The enclosures (because they aren't really cages anymore) are spacious and as close to their natural environment as possible. They have room to perform natural behaviours like they would in the wild. If it wasn't for these zoos that care for the animals and increase the numbers, then they would just be left to go extinct in the wild. And while some may argue that this would be natural, it isn't really, because of poachers and hunters and loggers and a whole heap of other things caused by humans. So I think it's much better to keep them in 'zoos' (I don't like the term zoo. Wildlife park is better) and encourage, not force, them to breed and raise young, whilst also letting them behave naturally and keep them healthy. Therefore I think I mostly support 'zoos' that are for this purpose, because I'd rather that than them becoming extinct in the wild. Like tigers. As much as conservationists are trying very hard and succeeding in some places, their populations and futures still aren't stable or certain so I think it's best to keep some 'in captivity' to make sure that tigers (or any other animal) don't go extinct!

Woah, I feel like I repeated myself a lot there, but it's just something I'm interested in and I would like to know what other people think about modern zoos (the good ones). I have opinions about the things that I think are not so good about zoos, but for now I'm focusing on mainly the positives.

So feel free to express your views but please please please don't get into any massive arguments or fights or heated debates. Keep it nice :).
 

Veganite

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I don't believe in any animal exploitation, period!

Definition of a zoo: an establishment that maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public.

What gives humans the right? If you can answer that, I'd be very interested to know. I do believe we need a place for rescued animals and hospitals for helping injured animals, but NOT a zoo! In my humble opinion, I'd like to see all zoos and public aquariums banned.
 

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I have a lot of great memories of zoos and aquariums. I loved them as a kid and continued to visit them on occasion as an adult. I feel lucky to have seen so many beautiful and exotic animals - it's definitely an enriching experience, not mere entertainment.

One summer I watched a friend's apartment while he was out of town....he lived across the street from the zoo, and falling asleep to the grunts and trumpets and calls of the animals through open windows was really special.

Once while on a bicycle tour my route happened to take me right by an "extreme" petting zoo. I went in on a lark and got to pet a tiger cub while it was being bottle fed, and played with a pair of mountain lion cubs. I noticed that zoo didn't have many adult animals. It was a for-profit business, and I guess adult animals are expensive to feed and provide adequate space for. As a petting zoo, they made their money off the little ones. No way they could allow people to pet full grown wild cats and bears. Did they keep a few adults around as breeding stock, or buy these little animals from breeders, or (less likely) snatch them from the wild, put them in cages and ship them across the world? Did they euthanize them at a certain age, or sell them to "private collectors"? Perhaps some of them were taken in by higher quality, non-profit zoos. But even those zoos have to pay the bills. Pleasing donors, attracting visitors and selling trinkets is necessary to their very existence; the well being of the animals is somewhere further down the list.

I've been lucky enough to also have many experiences with wild animals in their natural habitats...snorkeling through kelp forests, scuba diving coral reefs, and most of all exploring mountain wildernesses. I've had literally hundreds of bear encounters, several too close for comfort and one that was a single wrong move from turning into a mauling. If there was a common theme among all these encounters it was tension...fish dart away when you get close, eels withdraw, elk and bears run uphill. Depriving them of that capability, ensuring they are exposed for paying customers to gawk at, must cause a lot of anxiety.

Those wild encounters have been perhaps more enriching experiences than zoos and aquariums, but I realize they're largely the result of privilege and special circumstances. Many people won't have the opportunity for such experiences, just like I'll probably never get to go on an African safari or see tigers and orangutans in their natural habitat. It seems harsh to deny others the chance to be awed by such beautiful creatures. Especially poor people who live in cities...a few hours at the local zoo for $15 something pretty much anyone can experience. Closing zoos means only the privileged get to see such animals.

Ultimately, however, zoos are just another example of placing human desires above animals needs. A part of me always felt sad at the chimp or gorilla enclosures. I felt like I could sense their intelligence and emotional depth, and it was all too easy for me to imagine myself on the other side of the glass. It haunts me now to wonder how much they may have understood their situation.
 

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Have you seen the movie "Blast from the past"?

The movie should give you an answer to whether an artificial environment is morally right.
 

winston10

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Zoos are jails. They exist for the same reason so many people buy food and products produced from animals, most people lack empathy and all they care about is themselves.
 
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I’ve worked in animal healthcare for a few years. Even domesticated animals are constantly abused by people who think they are doing good to them.
Examples are overweight dogs and cats who live sedentary lives because their “care givers” are sedentary. The same top diseases that plague people in the western and now eastern countries are also the top diseases in domestic dogs and cats.
What’s so difficult about being considerate?
No wild animal should be locked up in a jail (cage) to be used as a way to earn revenue, period. Unless the animals are being rehabilitated for release back into the wild or handicapped due to poaching or being threatened by extinction would certain refuge be appropriate.
 
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Veganite

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@Genuine Mathias

I could not agree more. I see so many overweight people with their overweight dogs, feeding them the same snacks that's killing them. I can't say that I've seen as many fat cats, but I'm sure they exist.

I'm a huge dog fan. I find it incredibly sad that so many people get pets without first, researching the needs and responsibilities involved, and secondly, sticking to a reliable routine for the entire life of the animal.

I'm not really for keeping animals in captivity/cages and/or backyard chains, but I've always felt the relationship between man and domesticated dog a very unique one. I don't mean as working dogs so much as simply companions. They don't call them man's best friend for nothing.

A long time ago a dog saved my life in a house fire. She actually woke up three of us. The fire marshal that investigated the fire, said that if our dog had not woken us, we would have all died from smoke inhalation. She was free from the dog pound. She was my bestest friend until she died. RIP K.D.



*
 
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winston10

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Here's a pic of my best friend. He gets 4 walks a day. I love Dachshunds they are sooo cool, and it breaks my heart when I see one that is way overweight because their owners have no f'g clue.
 

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winston10

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He's had two scary bad back episodes that lasted a few days over the last few years. He's 8 now and I do worry about his back as he ages. A dog crate is out of the question and it's impossible to keep him off the furniture. I did lower the beds as much as I could.
 
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He's had two scary bad back episodes that lasted a few days over the last few years. He's 8 now and I do worry about his back as he ages. Kenneling is out of the question and it's impossible to keep him off the furniture. I did lower the beds as much as I could.
Build him some ramps out of pine with little railings. He’d love it.
 

Rory17

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Hi,
I disagree with zoos that are set up to make money off of the animals, but I can animal sanctuaries though. Some zoos may only/mostly have rescued animals and this, along with the zoo staff and/or owners giving them the proper care and treating them respectfully and giving them spacious, "natural habitat" enclosures, makes the zoos better.
Have a great day (and night)!
 
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Buy a meat slaughter vvagon transport company.
Recycle cars and akin.
Give animals used as Zoo (akin to pets) a chance to hop aboard; a stable route every day or so betvveen zoos and more private and broad areas.

I thought about collapsible tunnels to retain environmental factors; large ones, temporarily.
method; thinking perceiving there to be no actual limitations.

Possible using vehicles.
 

Forest Nymph

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I am in environmental science so from my perspective I'm never going to be as fanatical on this as some vegans, because I know people in wildlife biology and zoology and have been to zoos that are rehabilitation centers. Rehab zoos are awesome. As for others hmm I don't know if good is the right word.
 

Forest Nymph

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I’ve worked in animal healthcare for a few years. Even domesticated animals are constantly abused by people who think they are doing good to them.
Examples are overweight dogs and cats who live sedentary lives because their “care givers” are sedentary. The same top diseases that plague people in the western and now eastern countries are also the top diseases in domestic dogs and cats.
What’s so difficult about being considerate?
No wild animal should be locked up in a jail (cage) to be used as a way to earn revenue, period. Unless the animals are being rehabilitated for release back into the wild or handicapped due to poaching or being threatened by extinction would certain refuge be appropriate.


Some animals would be destroyed if not in rehab zoos. Grizzly bears are a good example of this, when they've threatened people more than once often they're just shot by rangers if a zoo doesn't take them in. Also I've seen mountain lions abandoned so young they're like gigantic house cats, they're too tame to hunt, love their caretaker and meow or chirp at people. There are animals who cannot be released back into the wild any more than a domestic companion should be. Mostly I agree with you though.
 

TrickyNick

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The main task o zoo today is saving rare species! Animals are treated well i such facilities, they have everything for normal life and proliferation. I think that it`s normal to look after animals and care about them.
 
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Some animals would be destroyed if not in rehab zoos. Grizzly bears are a good example of this, when they've threatened people more than once often they're just shot by rangers if a zoo doesn't take them in. Also I've seen mountain lions abandoned so young they're like gigantic house cats, they're too tame to hunt, love their caretaker and meow or chirp at people. There are animals who cannot be released back into the wild any more than a domestic companion should be. Mostly I agree with you though.

Sounds more like "threatened production" than people.

I have "had an experience" of being "zooified" temporarily. Something I severely resent.