What Do You Think Of Zoos?

  rdave13 22:46 04 Aug 12
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It's been well over a decade since I visited a zoo in Cheshire. What I found, in a recent visit, was that it has expanded in area a great deal. The 'keepers' are no longer 'keepers' and the guides are just young persons 'doing their jobs'. The animals, most noticeably the large cats, bears and even the penguins seemed lethargic for want of a better word.

Question is, are these larger zoos worth keeping just to justify keeping a near extinct species alive at the cost of, seemingly, imprisoning a wild life? These animals, birds etc. look to have repetitive habits and I felt bad about the zoo.

My children thoroughly enjoyed the experience, don't get me wrong, and learned a lot but I still left with a bad feeling about zoos regardless of their propaganda.

  Forum Editor 23:26 04 Aug 12

I'm not in favour of captive animals on principle, but...

Zoos do valuable work with captive breeding programmes, without which many more species would face extinction. Money from admissions goes towards funding these programmes, so it's a dilemma - close the zoos and lots of animal species would cease to exist altogether.

Another aspect of this is that - as you've discovered - they enable lots of children to see wild animals that they might not otherwise see. For some of them (the children) a spark might be struck that will inspire them to do something about the way we treat other species as expendable.

  rdave13 23:35 04 Aug 12
Answer

Forum Editor , your reply,

" Zoos do valuable work with captive breeding programmes, without which many more species would face extinction. Money from admissions goes towards funding these programmes, so it's a dilemma - close the zoos and lots of animal species would cease to exist altogether." is a perfectly good response.

Seeing what I did today I go for closing the zoos. Sadly.

  morddwyd 09:11 05 Aug 12

Like most I have an ambivalent attitude.

I feel bad about wild creatures being confined, but recognize that in some cases species would be facing extinction without them.

It is also the case that nearly all the individual creatures are better off in a zoo rather than in the wild facing predation and starvation.

  interzone55 09:14 05 Aug 12

Which Zoo did you visit?

We've got two small zoos in our area, and both do a good job of maintaining small collections of endangered animals.

One is about 5 miles away, and we've got an annual pass, so visit pretty regularly, mainly to photograph the animals, as visitors are allowed to get really close to the safer animals, and even handle some of them.

As with most zoos, there is a severe lack of cash, as food and heating don't come cheap, so they do what they can with limited resources. The staff are mainly volunteers, and to be honest, the three girls that help out at the weekend are brilliant. Really enthusiastic, and they know their stuff.

  rdave13 09:44 05 Aug 12

I know that these zoos do a great job. The people do their best with limited resources but the thought struck me, looking at the wild cats, just how bad is it for them being in an enclosure?

Is the way forward something like Longleat, a safari park, rather than a zoo?

  carver 09:46 05 Aug 12

Zoos may not be the most desirable of places to keep animals but with out them then a lot more animals would become extinct, so the next time you visit one of them think about these sort of stories enter link description here enter link description here and the most famous species to benefit Pandas.

We would live in a very desirable world if we could co-exist with every other species but I'm afraid we do not and have made mistakes in the past but at least some people are trying to make things better and zoos are one way of doing this.

On a far simpler note some children would never see any thing other than a cat or dog (maybe mice or rats) for their entire life if it were not for zoos.

  carver 09:49 05 Aug 12

Sorry for some reason last link didn't work enter link description here try this.

  spuds 10:44 05 Aug 12

A thing becoming more noticeable with zoos, are the conservation programs most are undertaking, which in turn brings higher revenue, grants, and extra funding arrangements, plus extra expertise.

The days of the 'animal' circus have long gone, with I believe only one is still in existence here in the UK. And that's more limited to animals like horses, dogs, llama etc. In the old days, I remember well the travelling well known circus's (Smarts,Chipperfields), with the animals living in cramped cages or being chained. And witnessing some training methods on the borderline or beyond the cruelty limits. beating the 'unruly' animals into submission.

On a personal note, I find that some of the larger charities who are constantly advertising for donations for animal welfare, could do far more than they do. I often get the impression that far more is spent on administration, than helping the animals, the charity was originally set up to do.

  canarieslover 11:00 05 Aug 12

I think that emotions experienced with zoo visits are almost directly related to age. As a youngster I could not imagine anything more exciting than a day out at the zoo. As I have grown older, elderly even, I have come to think more like rdave13 in as much as not liking to see animals in an environment in which they don't appear content. I do appreciate that they do serve a preservation purpose and that alone is reason enough to tolerate them. I also still see the smiling, excited faces on young children whenever I do get to visit nowadays and remember that I felt the same way at their age and that makes their survival worthwhile. Wildlife parks are a good answer for the bigger, more hardy animals, but there are many that can only be kept in the more enclosed environment of zoo.

  wee eddie 11:37 05 Aug 12

What would "Divorced Dads" do if Zoos were no longer available as a place to visit?

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