In the recent times, the practice of housing animals in zoos has become a major problem and a point of debate among different stakeholders, zoo advocated and animal rights advocates across the world. Everybody has a different opinion on the issue with some advocating for the act while others are against it. For instance, in the article Increasing Legal Rights for Zoo Animals, the author stated that, animal rights activists, have been arguing that, housing animals in zoos violates their rights and the act is unjustifiable whereas zoo advocates support their act by arguing that, they save the lives of animals which are endangered as well as offering education to people about the animals which make them protect the animals (Donahue 26).
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However, as long as I am concerned, costs outweigh the benefits, and it does not mean if an animal is endangered it should be denied its right. My speech however advocates for the abolishment of housing animals in zoos for several reasons which include animal cruelty, abuse and detachment of animals from their natural environment and making animals become less genetically diverse.
The practice of housing animals in the zoos is inherently wrong, and from my point of view it should be abolished. To begin with, housing of animals is a form of animal cruelty since it imposes unnecessary restrictions on their freedom of movement, social adjustments and normal postural. The zoo advocates might argue that, they opt to keep animals in zoos because they are endangered but from animal right standpoint no one has a right to confine or capture animals even if they are endangered. The inability of animal to move freely is a big hindrance to their intergenerational bond especially when the animals are sold to other zoos, a cause of boredom and stress to the animal as they are like captives.In his book, a behavioral ecologist and a zoo opponent, Marc Bekoff a ar that the life of an animal in captivity is a shadow of their experience in the wild and subjecting them to such a life is the highest level of cruelty (Becoff 36). Also, one research study found out that the lifespan of elephants living in zoo is shorter than those living the wild (Wiese et al 370). Therefore, people should stop making animals live like captives.
The second point on the unsuitability of zoos is that such housing facilities for animals take them away from their natural dwelling and place them in a caged environment which does not guarantee their full safety. The implication of such actions is that survival of animals is not guaranteed which might lead to unnecessary death among them. For instance, baby animals are said to attract more visitors and most zoos focus on breeding new babies. These later results in overpopulation in zoos and most end up being not only sold in other zoos but also sold for slaughter or killed because of lack of space. In some other instances, such as in the year 2016, death of animals in zoo conservations were reported to be on the rise. From NBC News an article by (Fieldstadt) reported that, a gorilla by name Harambe was shot dead after a baby fell into its cage at Cincinnati Zoo in U.S. A week before it had been reported that two lions from Metropolitan Zoo of Santiago in Chile were killed. These cases portrayed that the protection that zoos claim to provide to animals is not enough as well as not guaranteed and animals can only be saved through empowering their protection while they are in their own natural habitat.
Another issue is that, keeping animals in zoo makes them become less genetically diverse. When living in those cage, it is hard for them to find mates unless they are brought for which is usually controlled because people in charge of breeding animals in zoo must decide when they should breed them because of space and resources needed for their up keep. This shows that advocating for housing of animals in zoo is further endangering the wild population and some animals might even become extinct. A report from The Gurdian website said that when captive breeding programs breed these animals they never release them to wild (Wahlquist). These offspring’s becomes captives of circuses, zoos and subject to human exploitation through trade. This cruel act of making animals captives of the zoos result in animals being less genetically diverse
In my conclusion, if people are so much interested in seeing animals in real life they can visit sanctuary because here there is no selling, buying or breeding of animals. Sanctuaries, take animals that can no longer survive in the wild due to injuries, or unwanted animals from zoos. If not here they can visit them in the wild. This is because imprisoning animals to entertain people is unacceptable. The argument that zoo opponents has that it will help people protect animals or kids have compassion for animals is meaningless. If at all it was meaningful, children couldn’t be going crazy about dinosaurs yet they have never seen them. The animal right activists as well as people from all over the world should emphasize that all the operational policies must appreciate the inherent need for animals to be treated fairly and in a manner that protects their rights and be left to live in the wild since as I have outlined, the disadvantages of animals living zoos too much.
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