Since the eye-opening documentary ‘Blackfish‘ hit screens, the world has woken up to the brutality of keeping marine animals, like Tilikum, limited to tanks. But what about other creatures in captivity?
We hear a lot of things to validate keeping animals in zoos. But are these explanations based on fact, or are they simply what zoos would have us believe? Here’s 5 things we hear about creatures in zoos, and why we should think twice about them.
Whilst some zoos may donate in small ways to conservation projects, the vast majority of animals in zoos are not on the endangered species list, and the ones who are will likely never be reformed to their natural habitat. A study conducted by Captive Animal Protection Society (CAPS) found that almost half of the creatures in breeding programs in the EU were not even endangered in the wild.
MYTH 1: ‘Zoos exist for conservation’
The truth is that zoos exist mainly for profit. One of the biggest draw cards for zoos is baby animals. Babies will often be reproduced even when there isn’t enough room to keep them, inescapably resulting in “surplus” animals in zoos. Excess management approaches are one of the best-kept secrets of modern zoos. In 2014, the world reacted with shock and horror when a healthy 2 year old giraffe named Marius was killed and cut up in front of audiences at Copenhagen Zoo. His body was then fed to the lions.
Zoos also habitually trade and relocate animals who they deem to have outlived productivity or who no longer fit into breeding schemes. Trading animals with other zoos can be tremendously stressful for the animals who are moved, as they leave behind social bonds and surroundings they have grown familiar to.
Just like SeaWorlds and other marine parks, for zoos the welfares of animals usually comes second to enticing visitors and making money.
FACT: Zoos exist for profit.