Pros and Cons of Animals in Captivity

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Zoos, water parks, and circuses are places that people like to visit because they provide entertainment and a chance to see various animals up close. However, there are groups that are against establishments that place animals in captivity because they believe that the only place animals should be is in their natural habitat. Are these types of establishments really doing more harm to animals than good? Here are some of the points pro and anti animal captivity proponents make.

List of Pros of Animals in Captivity

1. It gives certain species a better chance of survival.
Sometimes an animal gets wounded or might not be able to survive the harsh conditions in the wild during certain seasons. By placing them in shelters or zoos they will be able to recover from their injuries and be protected.

2. It educates people more about animals.
Scientists and doctors are able to study and care better for animals in captivity. This allows them to develop more medicines to save certain species and to understand the behavior of animals more. Also, people who visit zoos, water parks, and circuses can be educated on how to take better care of animals and the conservation efforts for their species. It also allows them to see animals they would not otherwise have a had a chance to see in person.

3. It can prevent the extinction of certain species.
Some zoos and water parks study the breeding nature of animals and help certain species to mate in a safe and comfortable environment so that their population can grow. This is especially helpful for animals who are in danger of extinction. These establishments also help take care of the young to make sure they survive and grow into healthy adult animals instead of being poached or hunted in the wild.

List of Cons of Animals in Captivity

1. It messes with the natural activities of animals.
Animals have unique behaviors and needs that can only be practiced and met in the wild. By placing them in captivity, they need to adjust to a different environment and be separated from their family, and this can affect their growth, mood, and behavior. They also won’t be able to hunt, migrate, mate, and do other activities that should be a part of their nature. Studies show that animals in captivity develop depression and zoochosis (a disorder similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans).

2. It takes animals away from their natural habitat.
Some shelters and zoos attempt to mimic the natural habitat of animals, but opposing proponents argue that these can never replace the real deal. For example, elephants are enormous beings, and they need a lot of space to be able to live comfortably. Giraffes and zebras need a vast expanse of land to run around freely, and they won’t have that in a zoo. Whales and dolphins swim for hundreds of miles every day, and water parks can only provide them with a pool that is just a several meters wide.

3. It can subject animals to poor living conditions.
Some zoos, circuses, and water parks are poorly funded and managed. As a result, animals in captivity are not cared for properly and are subjected to harsh living conditions. They get sick and sometimes even die because they are not given medical attention.

Animals are vital parts of the circle of life and the existence of our planet, so taking care of them and ensuring their survival should remain a priority.