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List of Pros and Cons of Zoos

Zoos are present all over the world, it is a great way for people to learn about wild animals without having
to put themselves in danger, or travel to other parts of the world. People want to admire these animals and
the power of nature itself, but many are not aware of the circumstances and lives that caged animals lead.
People should questions themselves about how these animals live inside the zoo. Would they have a better
life in the wild? Is the zoo preserving the existence of this species? The thing is, these issues are directly
related to environmental problems. Although most people who visit the zoo dont think about these issues,
other people do, and there are incredibly heated debates about this subject pretty much everywhere
provided we look for these debates.
1. As far as animal rights go, zoos play a crucial role. It is well debated that animals have no rights in zoos,
but we need to look at things from another point of view. If we look at how animals are being hunted right
now, we can see how zoos are great for them. Animals are being hunted down for a lot of reasons,
including their fur, ivory, some medical benefits (that arent proven), and sometimes even for their meat.
This is terrible, and zoos can act as safe havens for these animals.
2. Animals have been subjected to cruel treatment in the past when they were in zoos. This has changed,
however, because people actually knew about it and noticed it, and it damaged the reputation of zoos
itself and threatened their business. They realized this and their treatment towards animals has been
continuously improving over time. In fact, animals are started to get the treatment of kings when they are
in zoos, all because they are the livelihood of the business. Moreover, the few zoos that mistreated animals
have been caught, and are being targeted for these actions.
3. When it comes to education, zoos are also playing a very important role. School children are curious
about animals and see them everywhere in their daily lives, and an opportunity to go to the zoo and see
them for real is amazing for them. With this opportunity, they enjoy learning about animals and
endangered species. Zoos have added signs to most places where animals are located in order to inform
people about them too, including their natural habitat, how many there still are in the world, what they
eat, and so on. Not only school children, but pretty much everyone can get informed about animals at
zoos, as they start to raise awareness towards important issues regarding animals.
4. Finally, zoos are crucial to protect endangered species. As mentioned before, animals are being hunted
down pretty much for existing, and zoos are keeping them safe against hunters and other types of
malicious people. Zoos arent paradise, obviously, but they do act as a safe haven for these hunted
1. Capturing animals is cruel, period. Animals have their own rights, and they have their own lives in the
wild. Capturing them destroys their routines and their way of life. For example elephants travel long
distances in the wild in large groups that is their way of life. When elephants are in a zoo, they cant travel
long distances, in fact, the amount they can move can barely be named as worthy of travel.
2. Moreover, animals that are confined to the zoo suffer from negative psychological effects due to the
confinement. It doesnt really matter how good the facilities of the zoo are, or how much space the animal
has for itself, it will still not be comparable in any way to the freedom they would have in the wild.
3. Furthermore, animals that are born in zoos and confined to their boundaries their whole life never get to
see their natural habitat, and never get to live life like they should be living it. This is something that can
be noticed by their abnormal behavior, since theyre not where they should be it is not natural for them.
If these animals ever get released to the wild for any reason, they will have an extremely difficult time
adapting to their natural habitat, because they had absolutely no former experience of it. They were taken
care of all their lives, and now have to provide for themselves, something they are not used to.
4. Regarding education in zoos, although they do provide a lot of it, most of us go to the zoo as a way to
spend time and for recreational purposes. No one really goes visit the zoo with the same mentality people
visit the museum with. Moreover, some visitors actually dont care about the well-being of animals, and
many of them actually abuse them by throwing them objects, teasing them, yelling at them, and so on.
This kind of behavior has an extremely negative effect on animals, and it can often result in psychological
damage to animals, and sometimes it can even prove to be fatal. Animals caged in zoos arent able to
exhibit their natural behavior as they should, and teasing them will greatly damage their self-confidence
and their comfort in the zoo itself.
The word zoo, is an abbreviated form of 'zoological garden' and it was coined in the nineteenth century. A
zoo can be described as collection of animals found in nature. The reasons behind keeping animals in
captivity are associated with educational needs, research, recreation and conservation. The 'zoo culture'
can be traced back to the early period of Chinese, Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. The common
types of zoos that we know are urban cage-zoos, safaris and sanctuaries. For a long time, zoo authorities
claimed to have contributed to the conservation of endangered animal species; however with animal rights
organizations becoming vocal on the issue of abuse of zoo animals, people are beginning to understand
how zoos actually function.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Zoos

The question whether animals should be kept in captivity or not is debated on many platforms and forums.
This issue is indirectly related to environmental problems and is the source of heated debates taking place
the world over. Let's try to understand the pros and cons of zoos through the following arguments.
Natural Habitat and Animal Rights
A Zoo Elephant Pros: It is argued that animals don't have rights as such. In order to protect and take care
of endangered wild animals, they need to be captured and confined to secure places. With rise in poaching
of wild animals for fur, ivory and supposed medicinal benefits, zoos appear to be the safe havens for
animals. Moreover, captive breeding can help raise the number of endangered wild animals.
Cons: Animals have their own, natural rights and capturing them for any reason whatsoever is the breach
of the same. For example, elephants are known to travel long distances when they are the wild. In fact,
elephants in the wild follow migratory routes and travel in herds called 'bond groups'. Therefore, restricting
their movements by keeping them in the confines of a zoo is unnatural. Wild animals are, in a way,
connected to their natural surroundings and this bond is broken when they are put into artificial settings of
a zoo.
The Good and Bad Zoos
Pros: It is true that in the past, many zoos have subjected animals to cruel treatment. However, there is
continuous improvement observed in the manner in which zoos operate. It won't be fair to shut down all
the zoos for the sake of mistakes committed by a few in the past. Moreover, not all zoos subject animals to
cruel treatment. With reforms brought about in this sector, animals are given a much better treatment
Rhinoceros in a Zoo Cons: No matter how good the facilities in a zoo are, animals tend to suffer in the
confines of zoos. Animals in zoos constantly live under a kind of psychological pressure because their
natural movements are limited by boundaries of the zoo. The psychological pressure tends to get reflected
in their abnormal behavior. Animals that are born in a captive environment never get to see the world
outside the confines of their cages/boundaries. Locking them up in cages deprives them of the muchneeded freedom. Such animals, if ever released in the wild, should find it difficult to adapt to the 'foreign'
environment, which is far different from that of zoos; the example of the attention seeking orphan baby
polar bear, "Knut" is fresh in the minds of people even today. Moreover, not all the claims regarding proper
care of animals made by zoo authorities hold true.
Role of Zoos in Education
Pros: These days, zoo authorities place a greater emphasis on education and conservation than merely
recreation. Many school children visit zoos to know more about endangered species and the different ways
to conserve them. The signboards in zoos provide useful details about animals including their scientific
name, habitat, origin, diet, etc. Students can study about different kinds of wild animals without having to
travel to far off places. Zoos are in fact, trying to make people aware of the environmental problems.
Caged Lion Cons: For many of us, visiting a zoo amounts to nothing more than recreation. There are only
a few who visit zoos for educational purposes. Moreover, if people get used to watching animals in zoos, a
deep-seated thought that zoo being an ideal place for animals may take root in their minds. It is observed
that visitors tend to abuse animals by throwing objects at them; such kind of careless and irresponsible
behavior by visitors has a negative effect on animals. In fact, such kind of abuse could also prove fatal.
Generally, tigers and lions are at the receiving end of abuse by visitors. There is one more thing to
consider when we analyze the role of zoos in educating us about wild animals. Captive animals are not
able to exhibit their natural behavioral traits. Therefore, studying a zoo animal won't reveal much about
animals living in natural settings.
Conservation of Endangered Species
Pros: Zoo owners claim that conservation of endangered species of animals is their prime objective. It is
also argued that in today's world, where animals face a constant threat of poaching, zoos are amongst the
safest places for wild animals (How ironic!). Zoo authorities don't claim that the functioning of zoos is
flawless; they admit that captive animals have to suffer from different kinds of problems; however, they
also expect people to appreciate the sincere efforts taken by them to protect and preserve wild animals.
Caged Monkey Cons: The people and activists who oppose the very idea of setting up zoos argue that
even if zoo owners take sincere efforts to conserve wild animals, success attained in protecting them is
insignificant. According to animal right activists, one doesn't need to exhibit animals for recreational
purposes if the sole objective behind setting up a zoo is of conservation.
The debate of whether zoos are good or bad is an endless one. There is no doubt whatsoever that efforts
need to be taken to study, protect and preserve animals; however, care should be taken to see that, in the
process, animals suffer the least. Also, one cannot deny the fact that some zoo authorities violate animal
rights. Creating awareness about animal rights and devising efficient ways to control animal population is
necessary. Conservation efforts should be undertaken with a broader perspective of maintaining the
ecological balance as a whole. The study of pros and cons of zoos should provide us with a balanced view
of the debate. In the end, it is up to us to decide whether we want to see animals in zoos or in their natural

All the Yes points

Animals should be left in the wild
The means is not proportionate to what is acheieved
They can house bestiality
All the No points


Human understanding can help animals

By observing animal behaviour we can help those in the wild
Keeping animals in zoos can stop them becoming extinct in the wild.
What do we do with the animals already in zoos.
THBT(this house believes that) we should ban zoos.
Yes because...
Animals should be left in the wild
Animals are not made for captivity. They long to roam in the long grass of Africa, they long to chase other animals, and
they long to play in large groups. No matter how we may try to replicate their surrounding in a zoo, we will never achieve
the full result. Therefore, these animals will never be as happy as they would be in the wild.
We are fighting with animals natural desires to be wild, and this is a battle that humans cannot win without destroying
animals at the core.
Predators need to hunt and taking from them their ability to do so; by taming/caging/drugging them is beyond cruel.
Excessive human involvement(both hunters/poachers that sell animals to zoos/safaris and those who kill them for their
skin/tusks/etc) in the food cycle; has disrupted it considerably(extinction and endangerment of species). Let nature take its
No because...
How can we measure animal happiness? Would humans be better off in the wild? There are poachers/hunters/animalpredators/other-animals-fighting-for-limiting-resources in the wild at least with animal captivity comes animal security, food
Would 'we' prefer the wild?
The truth is that these claims are based around the logically-skewed ideas of neo-classical animal rights groups. But their
arguments have little or no factual basis/merit. We cannot measure animal happiness. We cannot really say that they
would be best left in the wild.
All we can do is review at the information at hand. Domesticated animals; treated well, would you say they were unhappy?
Well then how can we argue that taking animals out of the wild is wrong? We cannot. So rather than banning zoos, we
should ensure that relevant safety measures are in place to ensure that these animals are as well looked after as
Species have come and gone from time immemorial( Dinosaurs are extinct without our interference); Human beings are
part of the animal kingdom thus food cycle and our involvement is part of nature.
THBT(this house believes that) we should ban zoos.
Yes because...
The means is not proportionate to what is acheieved
It is cruel and inhumane to keep animals in cages purely for human entertainment.
We visit the zoo maybe one day in a year for a few hours and we may gain some trivial sense of joy out of it. However, the
animals have to stay in that zoo all year round; against their natural instincts to roam free.
They have no reprieve from their environment. Why should humans think that they can keep animals out of their homes
and in glass houses just for human entertainment?
It is neither fair nor proportionate.
Humans get food and medical treatment in jails; does that mean that prisoners are happy or that confinement is not
punitive? Freedom for all living things.
No because...
This argument assumes that a) The harm suffered by these animals is tremendous and that b) the only value gained from
zoos is human entertainment.
a) Zoo keeping is a trained profession. Animals in the zoo have the regular access to good food and they have vets on
standby should they fall ill. This is a far more luxurious lifestyle than they would have in the jungle.
b) As stated above, zoos animals have many benefits that wild animals are deprived of. From human understanding to
biological study. To see zoos as pure entertainment is myopic.
THBT(this house believes that) we should ban zoos.
Yes because...
They can house bestiality

Psychologists often say that people who spend too much time at work can become too partial to it. They can become
obsessed. This could be one of the factors as to why those who work in trusted positions at schools turn to child abuse.
Zoo keepers by much the same principle can also abuse the animals.
For the skeptics of this psychological argument, there is another way in which zoos can be seen as housing bestiality.
Even if it is not the work itself that causes the perversion, the fact that the position of trust exists in that environment
allows entry to those who are that way inclined. So those who like young boys can become priests.
Although the priesthood may not have caused the perversion, it housed the opportunity for such perversion. The same
can be said of zoos. They offer a way in for those who wish to be closer than natural to the animals. This potential abuse
is reason enough to ban zoos.
No because...
Bestiality has the potential to occur in any situation where humans and animals mingle. Many people keep pets. Many
more people keep pets, in fact, then there are zookeepers looking after animals. Numbers alone would suggest that
bestiality is more likely to happen in a residential home with a pet.
On a different note: the chance of abuse, if it exists, seems to be small. Bestiality is not a widely spread perversion, nor is
zoo keeping a widely spread profession. If bestiality was genuinely been considered a danger to animals (as opposed to
poachers with guns shooting them and ripping out their teeth).
A more effective solution to the problem would be to police zookeepers, not force endangered animals back into
environments where they were rescued from in the first place.
THBT(this house believes that) we should ban zoos.
Yes because...
We would not tolerate this view if it were placed on humans. We would not force a human to be subjected to inhumane
treatment and captivity with the reasoning that they would be saving future humans. We have something that is called
integrity. Everyone has it and there is no reason why animals should not be given this grace as well. We cannot subject an
animal, against it wishes to captivity and rationed foods by citing the future good for all animals. We should respect every
animal, even those in zoos and not offer them up as sacrifice.
No because...
By taking our children to zoos, by educating them and showing them how beautiful animals are, we are entrusting the
animal future to them. If they have had a first hand experience of these animals then they will be more likely to take heed
of animal needs in the long run. They will be less likely to buy animal furs or elephant tusks. In turn, they will be more
likely to buy animal friendly produce and be more likely to campaign for these animals. Even if a few animals are harmed
in the process, the outcome outweighs that harm; more animals will be saved in the future.
THBT(this house believes that) we should ban zoos.
No because...
Knowledge is our only aid in the fight against global warming and animal protection. We need to know exactly whats
going to happen and how animals will respond in these situations. By sending in specialist animal observers to zoos we
can begin to unravel the mystery of how to save these animals for the future events to come. We can discover ways to
protect them, we can learn which habitats they can survive in, and we can learn which foods they would be willing to
supplement their nutrition from. By learning this, we can help wild animals of the future survive the changing environment.
THBT(this house believes that) we should ban zoos.
Yes because...
I fail to see how keeping animal in captivity is going to directly affect the population of the wild animals. You qualify your
own argument when you say these endangered animals are bred and then released into a 'more' natural environment. But
once bred in captivity, you can allow an animal back into the wild. Either they will go searching for humans and kill in their
dismay or they will simply die in the wild for not knowing what to do. Once again, the only benefit in having endangered
animals in captivity is that they will never become extinct because we will always have some in zoos, but this is not how
endangered animals should be; they would behave differently in a zoo to such an extent that I would not even classify
them as the same animal.
No because...
While ideally animals should be free to live in the wild, on occasion their survival as a species becomes threatened, either
naturally or artificially. Whatever the reason, zoos have been a major method of preventing animal species from becoming
extinct. While it may be the case that some species' extinction has only been delayed by zoos, in others the zoos have
been pivotal in breeding new generations and protecting a gene pool while the animal is re-introduced into a more natural
While protecting natural habitat should take precedent over zoos, many of these regions are politically unstable or
financially destitute. It is hard to blame someone who values his own families survival over that of an animal. Because

many zoos are in wealthy, stable nations, a secure and nurturing environment can be artificially created to help the most
endangered animals survive and continue to breed. A "Noahs Ark", if you will.
---------Rebuttal to "Yes" remark.
Some animals can be successfully released into the wild. See the efforts in New Zealand to have the national bird, the
Kiwi, living wild in some protected areas and uninhabited islands, both of which have been largely successful. This has
also happened/is happening with a number of other native birds on the brink of extinction.
THBT(this house believes that) we should ban zoos.
No because...
When an animal has been in a zoo for a long time thay have become used to being fed and not being hunted. If we just
return them to the wild they might get injured or die.