As you may not know many animals that are kept at zoos are there to protect their species. Such as elephants, tigers and gorillas that are soon to be extinct, zoos opt into breeding programmes where animals from all over the world are matched and then go on to breed successfully. Without such breeding programmes some animals would not be here today.
Is it wrong to keep animals in cages?
Many would say yes as it is unnatural and many will go crazy being in such a small confined space for a long period of time. Others will say no, as in most cases it is preserving the species and saving them from extinction. The last time I went to a zoo it was Colchester Zoo and they had a baby hippo in what I would call a giant glass box with a waterfall in the background. It was far too small for him and all the visitors gawping at him made him so uncomfortable that he stood in a corner. He hated it; it made me sad to see him like that. I vowed never to go to a zoo again.
There have been many stories this year about animals that attack their keepers, the most recent being and elephant from Ohio who had attacked his keeper he knew from birth. Some keepers think that if they know the animals from birth that they will grow up knowing who they are and will not harm them. This is not true, many keepers know their zoo residents from birth but when they reach a certain age they act like they would in the wild. Louie the elephant from Ohio apparently was playing with his keeper, but when you look at the footage it shows him doing what is completely natural if he was in his natural habitat.
The same goes for Zion Wildlife Park in New Zealand, last year a keeper was mauled to death by one of the large cats. It just goes to show that keeping animals caged up is unnatural and somewhere down the line they will turn on you. Unfortunately you can’t win but I would prefer animals that are endangered to have thousands of acres of land that they could roam free and be what they are. There are a few in Africa due to the vast land that they have but here in England it would be too expensive to buy and run as it would need regular donations and sponsors.
We shouldn’t be encouraging zoos to keep animals caged up so don’t fall for ‘sponsor an animal today’ scheme as this is just giving them fuel to keep their zoo open and profit from animals that are in cages.