Every kid dreams of going to the zoo when they are younger. They desire to watch animals they grew up naming while their parents point at each individual one in a picture book.
They are interested in the actual noises the animals make as they try to mimic it at home as their parents say, “what noise does a monkey make”. As great as zoos are made up to be, the hard truth is that if zoos are teaching children anything, it’s that imprisoning animals is okay. Kids who dream of feeding the giraffes and who stare in awe at the sight of the actual size of elephants are seeing a layer of what a zoo consists of. In 2014 a three-year old boy climbed into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati zoo where the gorilla was playing with the child. Out of fear, the zookeeper who saw this shot and killed the gorilla. What was supposed to be a fun day at the zoo became the news cover of every newspaper and news channel. The child’s life was more valuable than the gorillas but these desperate measures did not need to occur and only did because the enclosure wasn’t secured by the zoo. There are around 10,000 zoos in the United States, and still what people fail to see beyond the smiles on their kids faces as they watch the tigers roam is the animal cruelty, the unethical nature of zoos and the detrimental effects animals go through while being in captivity, and that the environment the zoo provides is unequip to satisfy the needs of these animals.
Zoos should be nullified because the captivation of animals does more harm to them than good. Due to excessive amounts of captivation and unsustainable living environments that strip away animal rights, zoos are unethical. Zoos are purley designed for the entertainment of the public. In the New York Times, the readers are provided with reasons to believe that zoos are not ethical as well as why they are ethical. The source offers insight to a debate between the ethical boundaries of a zoo. Animals were created to live in the wild free from constant human interaction. Zoos are not big enough to provide the space necessary for each animal to a life they would’ve in the wild. For example, Maggie, and elephant at the Alaska zoo was forced to spend days on end in small enclosure because of the frigid temperatures.
Elephants in the wild are typically active for around 18 hours and travel up rivers on average 30 miles a day with a large herd. In a zoo they are lucky to get a couple acres and a roommate or two. Zoos are spending money to try and expand the enclosures by square feet but this won’t give the elephants the square miles that they need. Nor will it give them the hills, ponds, mud and herd and overall atmosphere for and physical and physiology better lifestyle. https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/zoos/get-elephants-zoos/ Replicating the habitats that animals need is extremely rare to do. As Holmberg writes in the New York times, “animals that would normally roam or fly over vast territories are forced to exist in a world measured in square feet”(Holmberg).
Due to the little natural behavior the animals are exposed to as well as the little to none mental incentive to roam, almost all animals within a zoo at one point are diagnosed with “zoochosis” which is a form of “psychosis that can cause them to sway or pace continually, chew on their own limbs until they bleed, or pull out their own fur or feathers”(Holmberg). In common cases like this, zookeepers offer antidepressants to calm the animals down from self-destructive behavior.