History[ edit ] Throughout history not only domestic animals as pets and livestock were kept in captivity and under human care, but also wild animals.
Share via Email The rare tuatara was once common across New Zealand but was reduced to surviving only on some small islands. Captive breeding programs are restoring this unusual animal back to former numbers and distributions.
I also spent a number of years working as a volunteer keeper at two zoos in the U. However, I am perfectly willing to recognise that there are bad zoos and bad individual exhibits.
Not all animals are kept perfectly, much as I wish it were otherwise, and even in the best examples, there is still be room for improvement.
But just as the fact that some police are corrupt does not mean we should not have people to enforce the law, although bad zoos or exhibits persist does not mean they are not worthwhile institutes.
It merely means we need to pay more attention to the bad and improve them or close them. In either case, zoos at least in the U. While a bad collection should not be ignored, if you are worried the care and treatment of animals in captivity I can point to a great many farms, breeders, dealers and private owners who are in far greater need or inspection, improvement or both.
But at what point does that become captivity? A m fence? What if veterinary care is provided or extra food as in many reserves or as part of conservation projects. What I would state with absolute confidence is that for many species but no, not all it is perfectly possible to keep them in a zoo or wildlife park and for them to have a quality of life as high or higher than in the wild.
They can be spared bullying or social ostracism or even infanticide by others of their kind, or a lack of a suitable home or environment in which to live.
So a good zoo will provide great care and protection to animals in their care. These are good things for the individuals concerned, but what do zoos actually bring to the table for the visitors and the wider world? This is, naturally, what I want to focus on, but it is I hope worth having dealt with the more obvious objections and misapprehensions.
One of only a few hundred Sumatran tigers left in the world, this individual is part of a captive breeding program that is linked to conservation efforts - protecting wild areas and reintroducing animals to them.
Moreover, some of these collapses have been sudden, dramatic and unexpected or were simply discovered very late in the day. Zoos protect against a species going extinct. A species protected in captivity provides a reservoir population against a population crash or extinction in the wild.
Here they are relatively safe and can be bred up to provide foundation populations. A good number of species only exist in captivity and still more only exist in the wild because they have been reintroduced from zoos, or the wild populations have been boosted by captive bred animals.
Quite simply without these efforts there would be fewer species alive today and ecosystems and the world as a whole would be poorer for it. Although reintroduction successes are few and far between, the numbers are increasing and the very fact that species have been saved or reintroduced as a result of captive breeding shows their value.
Many children and adults, especially those in cities will never see a wild animal beyond a fox or pigeon, let alone a lion or giraffe. Sure television documentaries get ever more detailed and impressive, and lots of natural history specimens are on display in museums, but that really does pale next to seeing a living creature in the flesh, hearing it, smelling it, watching what it does and having the time to absorb details.
That alone will bring a greater understanding and perspective to many and hopefully give them a greater appreciation for wildlife, conservation efforts and how they can contribute. All of that comes before the actual direct education that can take place through signs, talks and the like that can directly communicate information about the animals they are seeing and their place in the world.
This was an area where zoos were previously poor and are now increasingly sophisticated in their communication and outreach work. Many zoos also work directly to educate conservation workers in foreign countries or send keepers abroad to contribute their knowledge and skills to zoos and preserves helping to improve conditions and reintroductions all over the world.
If we are to save many wild species and restore and repair ecosystems we need to know about how key species live, act and react. Being able to study animals in zoos where there is less risk and less variables means real changes can be effected on wild populations with far fewer problems. Knowing say the oestreus cycle of an animal or their breeding rate helps manage wild populations.
Things like capturing and moving at-risk or dangerous individuals is bolstered by knowledge in zoos about doses for anaesthetics, and experience at handling and transporting animals. This can make a real difference to conservation efforts and to reduce human-animal conflicts, and collectively provide a knowledge base for helping with the increasing threats of habitat destruction and other problems.
Not just in terms of protecting them and breeding them for reintroduction, but to learn about them to aid those still in the wild, as well as to educate and inform the public about these animals and their world: Sure there is always scope for improvement, but these benefits are critical to many species and potentially at least, the world as a whole, and the animals so well kept and content, that I think there can be few serious objections to the concept of good zoos what they can do.
Without them, the world would be, and would increasingly become, a much poorer place. A version of this piece was first published in here.Zoos across the country sold animals to the now-closed New Braunfels Zoo in Texas and continued to do so even after one of its employees “quit in disgust at the animal neglect.” 17 The director of an Arizona zoo sold several exotic goats to a dealer who was known to supply animals to .
The United Arab Emirates passed a law banning the ownership of "all types of wild and domesticated but dangerous animals" as pets. The zoos of today have quite fancy names – zoological park, zoological garden, wildlife park, etc. They help with conservation, breeding, and aim to educate the public, encouraging them to.
Others are concerned that living in a zoo diminishes animals' quality of life, that captive breeding is of limited value, or that entertainment is not a sufficient justification for keeping animals in captivity. To satisfy these concerns, zoos and aquariums have to weigh the costs and benefits.
Chapter 6. Handling and training, is it cruel?
The first version of this chapter was published in Animal Training (UFAW. ). There is much ignorance and controversy concerning both the handling and training of zoo and circus animals; if it should be done at all, and if it is, how it should be done.
Handling. CAPTIVE ANIMALS. Born Free is committed to preventing animal suffering and protecting threatened species in their natural habitats.
We strongly oppose the exploitation and keeping of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep wildlife in the wild.