50 years from now, will we look back on zoos and think them archaic, cruel and backward?
Today in the news in the UK, are reports of a rogue lion wandering the countryside. No zoos have reported any animals missing. It's most peculiar. It got me thinking, will generations from now wonder how on earth we condoned keeping wild animals in enclosed spaces....?
Animals need to be cared , they also need affection.But govt should set some norms so as to equip zoos n modernize them so that they don't become obsolete!!
Well I won't because I would be 110. Joking aside yes I think we will. In many ways we already do. That said the level of cruelty shown by mankind to animals appears to be reaching terrible levels. Perhaps we will become more barbaric and have everyone but that elusive 1% in a Zoo.
Zoos are often archaic, cruel and backward, but some modern ones also do excellent work to conserve species and to try to give them as natural an environment as possible.
I recall going to a zoo in New Hampshire many years ago that horrified me. A polar bear was locked in a small cage in suffocating heat, with only a tiny pool of stagnant, filthy water. Big cats were also in small cages, pacing from one end to the other obsessively - about two paces each way. A gorilla was kept alone in an otherwise empty cage, with nothing to play with but its own feces. It was pure torture for the animals. Those kinds of zoos still exist in some places, but western countries are hopefully becoming more enlightened these days.
Maybe in 50 years' time we will have "virtual" zoos with holograms of animals in their natural environments, rather than captives. The only animals actually in the zoo would be there for their care and protection.
I doubt zoos will ever be obsolete. We humans have been catching and keeping wild and rare animals since the beginning of civilization but I think the old way of keeping animals in cages may be coming to an end. People are more interested in seeing animals in something resembling their natural habitat so I see more zoos going the "animal park" way. Besides being cruel, keeping animals caged is also expensive where as the nature preserve is somewhat more self sustaining. But do away with zoos? I doubt it.
Even the Romans had zoos. I suspect they''ll always be here.
I guess I am biased, but having grown up around the St. Louis zoo I see all the good work it does to prevent the extinction of various species. The animals there are given great habitats that are not tiny, suffocating cages etc. They do many good works for conservation around the world and I support them in their efforts.
That being said, I visited a zoo once in Kansas City that broke my heart. Keep in mind this was over 15 years ago, but the animals were in small cages and the place was very dirty and unkempt. I was so disturbed by that experience I wrote several letters to reps in that area (at the time I thought they might actually care or something)
Anyway, a lot of zoos are bad, but some of the bigger more modern zoos are doing good things so don't lump all of them into the same category - that isn't fair either.
There have been zoos for generations. Children love to see animals that aren't native to their area. Zoos are educational for children. It teaches them about wild life and life cycles and other kinds of lands there are. Such as deserts, jungles and ice barriers. At the same time you can teach how to keep home safe for animals. Zoos give the opportunity to teach so many things. That is why it is a field trip every year for lower grades.
Many kinds of animals are endangered and in some cases the only living of that species is in a zoo. Koala bears were becoming extinct due to their native lands being cut down.
Possibly ... but it will be tempered by knowing that without zoos, many more species would be extinct.
I believe zoos have become a lot better in the last 20 years or so. There are many that are part of Wildlife Conservation and some zoos have become as someone else mentioned animal parks where the animals are in more "natural" settings and not locked up in cages. Most of the zoos I have visited through the years have not been cruel and barbaric. I have only seen great concern and care by zoo employees. I hope that this is the case elsewhere.
I don't think so. Zoos enable the growth and preservation of wildlife. The study and use of animals has been very beneficial to the development and preservation of the human population as well. If we did not contain and study these animals, we would not understand the cycle of life.
50 years from now I imagine zoos will still be around; saving the various species from extinction.
I feel some already look at it this way. I think zoos are a good way for people to learn how precious the wildlife is on our planet. However zoos sometimes don't do a good job at edjucating the public and have been sucked into just trying to make money to stay afloat. Think of it this way: if we weren't the top of the food chain would we want to be taken away from our families, caged up and have other living beings staring at us through bars? I don't think we would and believe it or not these animals have emotions.
Hi Joe. Your question immediately got me to thinking also......If Zoo's can be operated as a sanctuary for endangered and abused animals - I like the idea of them. Humans cause nearly all the problems facing today's wildlife, therefore, it is our responsibility to do ALL that we can to help them. Establishments that contain animals for our mere enjoyment -no, I hate the idea of that.
As for the rouge lion, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to eventually learn that some selfish individual had this creature and then decided to let it loose because it was costing them too much to feed or they could no longer 'control' it.
Interesting question.....thanks for tossing it out there for us to ponder.
I don't know why we should wait 50 years, already today there are many people who already think that. We must though be careful not to group all zoos together as some are obviously far better than others. For instance in the UK, you could compare Whipsinade to London Zoo. The first has far more space available for the animals yet the second probably holds a wider variety, if not numbers. An example of a good Zoo is the Belize Zoo. There they only have animals that are native to Belize and hold them in large areas containing their natural habitat, which is far better than what can be said for most other Zoos. Fortunately Belize is home to many varieties of wild cats, including the Jaguar and the Ocelot, also the tropical rain forest and the mangrove swamps provide a great diversity for the visitors to enjoy. Stricter rules should be put in place for the keeping of wild animals and the ideas of individuals having exotic pets should be carefully monitored along with the Circuses.
Zoo's will be looked back on in a positive light. We save species in such manner. The sad case is some wealthy people buy wild animals as personal pets... they are more than likely the cause of the one roaming free.
Excellent question and many wonderfully thoughtful and insightful answers are given by commenters.
Hopefully, zoos will never become a thing of the past.
With the massive destruction of our planet by those who destroy our lands for profit, there will be also massive loss of animal and plant species and their diversity.
Maintaining zoos will probably be the only saving grace for many of those plants and animals destined for extinction by the destructive forces of man.
I see you most definitely do not live in Texas, I, however, do live in Texas.
In Texas - ANYONE can own an African Lion, or a Siberian Tiger - so forth, and so on.
I don't want to keep you wondering about my opinion - I think the laws in my home state that allow for these things are completely obscene.
But so far as the original question goes, NO. No I think and I know that Zoos do some good work.
Yeah, I've been to some zoos and been very saddened by seeing some animals that looked like they were prisoners, and rather unhappy. Thing is, if we have something on the verge of extinction in a zoo - we can at least keep the species around, and get it re-introduced into the wild sooner or later.
What I think ...no, what I KNOW is archaic, cruel, and altogether backwards are these damned circuses where various and sundry animals are abused in order to be forced to amuse us. That is where the real wrongs are.
The natural habitat zoos like in San Diego and other places will continue and will be even better than they are today. The older zoos with animals in cages are already beginning to disappear.
There is a major university in my city and their mascot is the Tiger. There is a live tiger on campus in a very expensive and beautiful habitat. However, it is only one tiger. The tigers that the school keeps in captivity seem to have a shorter life span than tigers in the wild or tigers in zoos with other tigers.
I would like to see an end to universities being allowed to keep live animals as mascots. It just is not necessary.
50 years from now,some people will be locked in Zoo instead of animals .BESIDES,nowadays,some minorities in foreign countries are looked at as if they are in the Zoo.
I look at them that way now, I believe that animals should be able to live in their natural habitat and not for the amusement of humans. I don't think anyone has the right to force any person, animal or thing behind bars, into enslavement or into captivity.
Will we look back in 50 years and realize we were also in a zoo? locked into a life of repetitive task, and debt. We are slaves to the economy, and just a number to the government.
At least the animals in the zoo are fed and taken care of.
You should worry about the animals on these corporate farms, that are tortured, beaten, and most of them aren't even able to walk their whole life. They are all bunched together and can not move.
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