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Should zoos exist?
Topic Started: Apr 14 2018, 05:24 PM (1,459 Views)
AwesomeFrito
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I know it's silly question to ask but I have heard a few people arguing against zoo lately. There are people who believe animals should roam free rather than be confined to small enclosures (like PETA). I believe zoos should exist because they are beneficial to animals. They educate the public, allow people to see animals they wouldn't normally from one part of the world, and more importantly zoos also save animals from extinction. When I visited the Greenville Zoo I leaned about the Species Survival Plan that each species of animal that are endangered or threatened have a plan put in place to ensure there survival like captive breeding programs. Sometimes the only way to keep certain species safe it to keep them in these enclosures otherwise there numbers would decline or they would be hunted until the end. One of the animals I saw at the zoo was the Amur Leopard which is estimated to have a population of around 60 left in the wild.

That being said there are some zoos that shouldn't exist. I am referring to poor countries that don't have the means to care for large animals. These specific zoos try to profit off of the suffering of starving animals. Then there are zoos like Copenhagen who put down healthy animals to make room for others.
What are your thoughts?
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Acinonyx Jubatus
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I AM THE UNSHRINKWRAPPER!

It's my opinion that zoos, done correctly, are not only harmless and ethical but in many cases are actually necessary. Healthy zoos that care for their animals and have the right space and resources are key facilities in wildlife conservation and rehabilitation.

Zoos that are managed improperly, however, should DEFINITELY be closed down. Not only do they cause needless suffering for many animals, but they actively undermine the reputation and good standing of more ethical zoos. The problem is, extremist groups like PETA and the people they influence can't see the difference between these poorly run, abusive zoos and healthy conservation-centered zoos.
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Dwarfbomb
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I agree completely with what has been said thus far. I would also like to point out a prime example of zoo conservation. The Panamanian Golden frog is completely extinct in the wild because of the chytrid fungus, a dangerous fungus that is killing amphibians across the globe, with only a few amphibians having any resistance. The only place you can find them today is in zoos. If zoos had not intervened and rescued some, there wouldn't be any, and now zoos all across the US are breeeding them so they can be eventually released once an effective cure for chytrid fungus is discovered. They recently found a bacterium on another amphibian (I forget the species at the moment) that provides immunity to chytrid fungus, and have been giving it to other amphibians with positive results, but the bacteria seems to refuse to stick to the Panamanian golden frogs.

I would like to point out that some animals should not/cannot be kept in captivity due to lack of knowledge of their natural environments, diets, or simply a need for more space. Tarsiers, for example, have been seen committing suicide in captivity, actually breaking open their skulls by banging their heads on rocks. It's regrettable they have such an adverse reaction to captivity, because many of them are endangered in the wild. Platypi have been unsuccessful in every zoo outside of Australia because of huge change in environment. Great white sharks have significantly short lifespans in captivity, and can only be kept for short periods of time before release (aquariums in California sometimes rescue Great White juveniles and release them).

Others thrive or even live longer in captivity, and in many cases captivity is preferable. Koalas and sloths, for example, rarely travel/move much anyway, sleeping about 20 hours a day. They could care less about being in a zoo. Viriginia opossums live only 7 months to a year on average in the wild, but can live up to 7 years in captivity (and working at a wildlife sanctuary, they seem extremely happy). Many animal enclosures (not all) at zoos are about the same size as an individual animal's home range in the wild anyway. And for animals like komodo dragons and orangutans, captivity is preferable to the habitat they would return to: komodo dragons are exploited by tourism where guests often feed them and sometimes even pet them. Some populations of komodos in the wild are often lazy and don't move much... And with orangutans the palm oil crisis is destroying their environment. Some speculate they will be extinct in the wild by 2020.

If any of the info I have mentioned is incorrect, please tell me, this is all from memory.
Edited by Dwarfbomb, Apr 15 2018, 09:02 PM.
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Posted Image TheYeti
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I completely agree with all of your points. Additionally to the immediate conservation of endangered species, I would argue that zoos are essential in raising awareness of wildlife conservation. People will probably lose interest in wild animals when they are not found in their own environment. When they have never seen exotic endangered animals in a zoo, I doubt most people would actually care about potentially losing these species at all. For many it would be a far-away issue while there "are also problems closer to home". By showcasing animals in zoos, it will affect visitors who, on their turn, will realize these species should not be lost.

I also think zoos are important from the visitors' aspect. For people who do not go abroad a lot, which probably includes most people, zoos are a great opportunity to experience what far-away parts of the worlds are like. Especially in zoos like Burgers'Zoo, which replicates the habitats in which animals thrive, visitors will not just see exotic animals but also experience the kind of environment which they are from. This is more real than seeing the same thing on television.
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stargatedalek
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I'm not slow! That's just my moe!

A lot of smaller zoos also interact directly with local exotic pet owners and farmers, selling some of the animals born at the zoo and in the process ensuring the owners are fully aware of the animals requirements.

A few zoos even have programs where they "loan" young animals to capable owners who then return them to the zoo once they become too large and exchange them for another young one. This helps to alleviate overpopulation of animals that breed readily and have large broods, and is typically done with animals like alligators or large turtles.
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Ulquiorra
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Not to mention that if it wasn't for zoo's, how many animals on the endangered list, would actually be extinct? In an ideal world, there wouldn't be any need for zoo's, but we don't live in that ideal world. Poaching, habitat destruction, pollution, over fishing, persecution, the spread of/introduction of diseases/invasive species, and in some cases hybridization, all of these are having an effect on wild animals, and most if not most of it, has been causes by us.

Also coming back to what Dwarfbomb said about animals thriving in captivity, Orangutans, in the wild females only give birth once every 8-10, IIRC. Yet in captivity the period between each birth is often less then half that, in some cases captive Orangutans have a baby once every 3 years. So when conditions are right, zoo's can make some animals more prolific.
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ZoologistMatthew
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I have a MIXED opinion when it comes to zoos, so let me explain.

Pros:

1. Many zoos help endangered species with conservation, like for example, the Arabian Oryx was at one point extinct in the wild, however, zoos and reserves had a breeding program and now the Arabian Oryx to this day has a conservation status of Vulnerable( though that is still not a good thing, it's still 1000x better than being extinct in the wild)

2. Most good zoos use behavioral enrichment to allow animals to do something for the day so they don't pace back and forth 24/7. Such examples can be hiding food in containers or balls so that the animals could find, or for primates (not gorillas), zoos usually provide them with wooden things (I don't know what they're called) so they can use their swinging instincts.

3. Zoos provide an educational purpose for children and even adults, however, I don't really agree on this one as there are MANY ALTERNATIVES to learn about animals such as websites, lectures, and documentaries.

4. Zoos can be an institution where animals can be protected from habitat destruction and poaching. Protecting from predators is a statement that many people use to try to defend zoos, however, I REALLY disagree with this argument as predators have an important role in their ecosystem, by balancing out the herbivores by eating them. Without predators, herbivores will eventually overpopulate and this could cause a lot of problems.

Cons:

1. Some zoos use animals for entertainment purposes rather than educating the public. For example, people will exploit animals to do tricks such as riding a bicycle or jumping out of the water, just for human's amusement. Not just that personally, I find these shows not just unethical, but also VERY boring. Even as a kid, when I saw orcas at SeaWorld, I was bored throughout the whole show. You know what's a better alternative to entertain yourself by watching animals? Either watching a documentary, seeing them in the wild, or observing them in a zoo that provides good care for their animals.

2. There's a term called zoochosis, which isn't even a real term because when I search this up, the only results show either PETA or other anti-zoo websites. The better term for this is stereotypical behavior, which means unnatural behavior in captivity. For example, birds sometimes pluck out their own feathers, polar bears look like they're dancing, when they really aren't, and other animals pace back and forth. This is why it's important to provide animals behavioral enrichment, as it allows them to interact with something, rather than being insane all day long.

3. Sometimes the enclosure doesn't replicate how an animal lives in the wild. For example, polar bears can be found in polar ice caps and tundras. However, many zoos tend to provide them with a rock or concrete exhibit with no signs of grass. Though it is physically impossible to put a giant iceberg in an enclosure, as it may melt, why not add grass to the exhibit. Thankfully, some zoos have done this and even sometimes for an extra mile by shaving ice blocks into snow and spraying it all over the polar bear's exhibit (Good example being the San Diego Zoo).

4. Believe or not, there are some zoos that KILL their animals, either on accident, necessary, or purposely. Rather than talking about Harambe, I will give out different examples. In the Copenhagen Zoo, a HEALTHY male giraffe was killed and dissected in front of everyone, so they can prevent inbreeding. A better solution for this would be release the giraffe and replace it with a new male. They didn't stop there, they also killed 4 male lions just so they can 1 new male lion, that wasn't part of the group. Another example of dying animals in zoos is the infamous Surabaya Zoo, otherwise known as the "Zoo of Death". A male lion was found hanged in its cage (though this was the lion's fault) and a tiger was fed meat, laced with a chemical.

In conclusion, I believe that some zoos are necessary, ones that actually care about conservation, focus on the animal's welfare, and educating people about the beautiful creatures of the world. However, there are also bad or mediocre zoos that either need to be heavily improved, or shut down because the inadequate conditions for the animals will do more harm than good. I will respect everyone's opinion on zoos, so reply back if you agree or disagree with my opinion.
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Posted Image Flish
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Many of the shows animals perform in, the orca shows in particular being a great example, are not just for human entertainment but for the animal's as well. The animals are not forced into doing shows, they just really enjoy it because it gives them something to do and they get fed.

Zoochosis is a real issue, but thankfully it's becoming less and less common as time goes on because of better husbandry practices and enrichment. Unfortunately, I have to say having a few animals with zoochosis is better than the species having no captive population at all, though zoos are definitely improving their husbandry practices and this is getting better.

Culling is unfortunately a necessary evil in some cases. You can't release most of these animals into the wild because they are not prepared for the wild- they are breeding stock, not animals being prepared for release. Inbreeding is more harmful to the species than the loss of one or a few individuals, and sometimes it's just not cost effective to rewild the animal, and, in particular with animals like giraffes and lions were there are hundreds of animals already in captivity, most zoos won't want to take them because they already have so many, and it results in the animal having no where to go but being a detriment to the species as a whole by still being kept in the breeding population. If they were to spay or neuter that animal, now they have to maintain upkeep on an animal that is completely useless to the species long-term survival, and in large animals like giraffes in particular, this is simply not feasible for some zoos.
Edited by Flish, Aug 12 2018, 12:38 PM.
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ZoologistMatthew
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Flish
Aug 12 2018, 12:38 PM
Many of the shows animals perform in, the orca shows in particular being a great example, are not just for human entertainment but for the animal's as well. The animals are not forced into doing shows, they just really enjoy it because it gives them something to do and they get fed.

Zoochosis is a real issue, but thankfully it's becoming less and less common as time goes on because of better husbandry practices and enrichment. Unfortunately, I have to say having a few animals with zoochosis is better than the species having no captive population at all, though zoos are definitely improving their husbandry practices and this is getting better.

Culling is unfortunately a necessary evil in some cases. You can't release most of these animals into the wild because they are not prepared for the wild- they are breeding stock, not animals being prepared for release. Inbreeding is more harmful to the species than the loss of one or a few individuals, and sometimes it's just not cost effective to rewild the animal, and, in particular with animals like giraffes and lions were there are hundreds of animals already in captivity, most zoos won't want to take them because they already have so many, and it results in the animal having no where to go but being a detriment to the species as a whole by still being kept in the breeding population. If they were to spay or neuter that animal, now they have to maintain upkeep on an animal that is completely useless to the species long-term survival, and in large animals like giraffes in particular, this is simply not feasible for some zoos.
Could you give me actual scientific evidence that orca shows actually are good for orcas, because if I ever search something up like this, it would just show like anti-captivity articles. And if I'm correct, I've never seen an orca enjoy jumping out of the water, or beaching themselves on that one platform thingy. I want proof and evidence before I believe you.
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Posted Image Flish
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Well there's the fact they do it willingly that tells you they probably like it. It's not like they're denied food or beaten for not performing, and dolphins of all kinds are very well known for jumping for fun in the wild, and in captivity many dolphins are known to enjoy laying on floating objects. there isn't really anything to do a study on because it's pretty common sense they would enjoy these things, but here is a page by the Vancouver Aquarium on how and why they train their marine mammals:
https://www.vanaqua.org/learn/aquafacts/the-aquarium/training-marine-mammals
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ZoologistMatthew
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Flish
Aug 13 2018, 10:55 AM
Well there's the fact they do it willingly that tells you they probably like it. It's not like they're denied food or beaten for not performing, and dolphins of all kinds are very well known for jumping for fun in the wild, and in captivity many dolphins are known to enjoy laying on floating objects. there isn't really anything to do a study on because it's pretty common sense they would enjoy these things, but here is a page by the Vancouver Aquarium on how and why they train their marine mammals:
https://www.vanaqua.org/learn/aquafacts/the-aquarium/training-marine-mammals
Dolphins jump out of the water in the wild because it shows that they are either communicating or they are using less energy to travel through water https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin#Jumping_and_playing. And yes indeed, they are not beaten, however, they can still develop abnormalities in captivity. Orcas have been seen having a dorsal fin collapse, which can either be caused by swimming in circles or resting at surfaces https://oceanadvocatefl.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/orca-dorsal-fin-controvery-experts-vs-seaworld/. And even if enrichment is provided, they still need 100-120 km to travel per day, yet their tiny tanks won't be suitable for that.
Edited by ZoologistMatthew, Aug 13 2018, 09:17 PM.
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stargatedalek
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I'm not slow! That's just my moe!

Most of your "pros" either contradict your "cons" or are secretly cons themselves, so I'm only going to address those.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
3. Zoos provide an educational purpose for children and even adults, however, I don't really agree on this one as there are MANY ALTERNATIVES to learn about animals such as websites, lectures, and documentaries.
None of those alternatives hold the same function, and are heavily limited by production costs. Name me a documentary where I can watch four hours of footage of spotted gar. It doesn't exist, but I can go to a zoo and watch the gar for four hours if I so please. Documentaries exist to make money, there will only ever be documentaries that appeal to mainstream marketable subjects.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
4. Zoos can be an institution where animals can be protected from habitat destruction and poaching. Protecting from predators is a statement that many people use to try to defend zoos, however, I REALLY disagree with this argument as predators have an important role in their ecosystem, by balancing out the herbivores by eating them. Without predators, herbivores will eventually overpopulate and this could cause a lot of problems.
If an animal is at the point where it needs to be preserved than it isn't at risk of overpopulating. I'm sorry but this is common sense.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
1. Some zoos use animals for entertainment purposes rather than educating the public. For example, people will exploit animals to do tricks such as riding a bicycle or jumping out of the water, just for human's amusement. Not just that personally, I find these shows not just unethical, but also VERY boring. Even as a kid, when I saw orcas at SeaWorld, I was bored throughout the whole show. You know what's a better alternative to entertain yourself by watching animals? Either watching a documentary, seeing them in the wild, or observing them in a zoo that provides good care for their animals.
So, if animals shouldn't be kept contained for human entertainment, that must apply to AI and robots too? We have primitive commercially available AI that rivals the cognitive functions of some invertebrates, and yet we literally put them in children's toys.

If this is OK, then shouldn't keeping those aforementioned invertebrates for entertainment be OK? And, what makes them so different from other, slightly more intelligent animals. Where should this line be drawn?

The idea of "keeping animals for entertainment" being some sort of sin is absolutely ridiculous and has no basis in reason or science. People will keep animals for whatever reason they choose, and so long as they are well cared for and not over-collected it frankly isn't any of your business to dictate what reasons are deemed worthy.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
2. There's a term called zoochosis, which isn't even a real term because when I search this up, the only results show either PETA or other anti-zoo websites. The better term for this is stereotypical behavior, which means unnatural behavior in captivity. For example, birds sometimes pluck out their own feathers, polar bears look like they're dancing, when they really aren't, and other animals pace back and forth. This is why it's important to provide animals behavioral enrichment, as it allows them to interact with something, rather than being insane all day long.
Zoochosis is divisive, largely because it's more of a broad term referring to any behavioral patterns that aren't fully understood than a recognized condition. Many of the most common behaviors associated with zoochosis are harmless, and better quantified as simple boredom, but they are still good indicators of whether an animal is satisfied with an enclosure.

The idea that a diagnosis of zoochosis represents genuine insanity, let alone to imply that it is inherent to all captive environments, is incredibly inaccurate and disingenuous.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
3. Sometimes the enclosure doesn't replicate how an animal lives in the wild. For example, polar bears can be found in polar ice caps and tundras. However, many zoos tend to provide them with a rock or concrete exhibit with no signs of grass. Though it is physically impossible to put a giant iceberg in an enclosure, as it may melt, why not add grass to the exhibit. Thankfully, some zoos have done this and even sometimes for an extra mile by shaving ice blocks into snow and spraying it all over the polar bear's exhibit (Good example being the San Diego Zoo).
Why is an enclosure not perfectly replicating the wild inherently a bad thing? There is good reason most animals live longer in captivity. Wild habitats are full of pitfalls, pollution, infection and disease, and it's important to find a middle ground between safety and comfort when designing enclosures for animals.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
4. Believe or not, there are some zoos that KILL their animals, either on accident, necessary, or purposely. Rather than talking about Harambe, I will give out different examples. In the Copenhagen Zoo, a HEALTHY male giraffe was killed and dissected in front of everyone, so they can prevent inbreeding. A better solution for this would be release the giraffe and replace it with a new male. They didn't stop there, they also killed 4 male lions just so they can 1 new male lion, that wasn't part of the group. Another example of dying animals in zoos is the infamous Surabaya Zoo, otherwise known as the "Zoo of Death". A male lion was found hanged in its cage (though this was the lion's fault) and a tiger was fed meat, laced with a chemical.
Why would you try to play this up for dramatic effect? It really should go without saying that any facility keeping large breeding populations of animals will need to kill some at some point. And why would you even mention zoos killing animals by accident, how is that relevant? I've seen deer that got their antlers tangled in plants and died that way, and lets not forget the countless little penguins that get dashed to bits in rough seas. That stuff happens a lot less often in zoos than in the wild.

As Flish has already said, with animals common in captivity like giraffes and lions zoos are often in the uncomfortable position of overpopulation or inbreeding when no other park will accept the animals. Would you rather they get sold off at auction to private owners?

And the accrediting organizations also have a very large role here, a facility can get it's accreditation revoked for selling or even giving animals to facilities that aren't themselves accredited by the same organization. Zoo A might be forbidden from donating overpopulated animals to zoo B since zoo B isn't accredited.

And really? Harambe was about to kill someone, and was refusing commands from handlers. It had to be done. Get over it.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
In conclusion, I believe that some zoos are necessary, ones that actually care about conservation, focus on the animal's welfare, and educating people about the beautiful creatures of the world. However, there are also bad or mediocre zoos that either need to be heavily improved, or shut down because the inadequate conditions for the animals will do more harm than good. I will respect everyone's opinion on zoos, so reply back if you agree or disagree with my opinion.
This whole thing just reeks of pretension. There are no animals wholly unfit for captivity, or zoos unfit for any animals whatsoever, merely different animals require different enclosures and some zoos are not equipped to care for some animals. Even the Surabaya Zoo has had great success with their Komodo dragons, who breed so readily that there are allegedly plans to open a Komodo dragon themed park separate of the zoo.
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Posted Image Flish
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ZoologistMatthew
Aug 13 2018, 08:13 PM
Flish
Aug 13 2018, 10:55 AM
Well there's the fact they do it willingly that tells you they probably like it. It's not like they're denied food or beaten for not performing, and dolphins of all kinds are very well known for jumping for fun in the wild, and in captivity many dolphins are known to enjoy laying on floating objects. there isn't really anything to do a study on because it's pretty common sense they would enjoy these things, but here is a page by the Vancouver Aquarium on how and why they train their marine mammals:
https://www.vanaqua.org/learn/aquafacts/the-aquarium/training-marine-mammals
Dolphins jump out of the water in the wild because it shows that they are either communicating or they are using less energy to travel through water https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin#Jumping_and_playing. And yes indeed, they are not beaten, however, they can still develop abnormalities in captivity. Orcas have been seen having a dorsal fin collapse, which can either be caused by swimming in circles or resting at surfaces https://oceanadvocatefl.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/orca-dorsal-fin-controvery-experts-vs-seaworld/. And even if enrichment is provided, they still need 100-120 km to travel per day, yet their tiny tanks won't be suitable for that.
If a dolphin is jumping to travel, yes, it is trying to conserve energy. But Dolphins doing flips and spins out of the water is clearly play behavior in the wild, not conservation of energy.

The rest of your post is not even about cetacean shows and seems to focus on orcas in particular. Collapsed fins are not an inherently captive condition and considering the animals all live healthy lives otherwise (though this is of course dependent on the facility) it's not really a significant issue.

Space is a very real issue with orcas and really no other cetaceans currently kept in captivity in any large numbers. There have been plans to increase the space in particular for SeaWorld's orcas, but protests on keeping the animals has actually prevented this because no more orcas are being brought into captivity so SeaWorld has no reason to make pools larger and more enriching when they aren't getting more orcas. If you've decided to retire early and move to a retirement home, you don't start buying furniture for your current house, it's the same thing here.

That all said, none of that is really relevant to your original argument anyways that they supposedly don't like performing in shows, so let's change back to that, shall we?

Because the orcas can't be released for obvious reasons, it's pretty much just a case of keeping them happy in their current situation, and while they may not be getting all the exercise they would in the wild, they still get to spend time with their trainers and perform in shows so it only stands to reason they're probably pretty happy, especially those who have never known anything else.
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ZoologistMatthew
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stargatedalek
Aug 13 2018, 09:41 PM
Most of your "pros" either contradict your "cons" or are secretly cons themselves, so I'm only going to address those.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
3. Zoos provide an educational purpose for children and even adults, however, I don't really agree on this one as there are MANY ALTERNATIVES to learn about animals such as websites, lectures, and documentaries.
None of those alternatives hold the same function, and are heavily limited by production costs. Name me a documentary where I can watch four hours of footage of spotted gar. It doesn't exist, but I can go to a zoo and watch the gar for four hours if I so please. Documentaries exist to make money, there will only ever be documentaries that appeal to mainstream marketable subjects.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
4. Zoos can be an institution where animals can be protected from habitat destruction and poaching. Protecting from predators is a statement that many people use to try to defend zoos, however, I REALLY disagree with this argument as predators have an important role in their ecosystem, by balancing out the herbivores by eating them. Without predators, herbivores will eventually overpopulate and this could cause a lot of problems.
If an animal is at the point where it needs to be preserved than it isn't at risk of overpopulating. I'm sorry but this is common sense.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
1. Some zoos use animals for entertainment purposes rather than educating the public. For example, people will exploit animals to do tricks such as riding a bicycle or jumping out of the water, just for human's amusement. Not just that personally, I find these shows not just unethical, but also VERY boring. Even as a kid, when I saw orcas at SeaWorld, I was bored throughout the whole show. You know what's a better alternative to entertain yourself by watching animals? Either watching a documentary, seeing them in the wild, or observing them in a zoo that provides good care for their animals.
So, if animals shouldn't be kept contained for human entertainment, that must apply to AI and robots too? We have primitive commercially available AI that rivals the cognitive functions of some invertebrates, and yet we literally put them in children's toys.

If this is OK, then shouldn't keeping those aforementioned invertebrates for entertainment be OK? And, what makes them so different from other, slightly more intelligent animals. Where should this line be drawn?

The idea of "keeping animals for entertainment" being some sort of sin is absolutely ridiculous and has no basis in reason or science. People will keep animals for whatever reason they choose, and so long as they are well cared for and not over-collected it frankly isn't any of your business to dictate what reasons are deemed worthy.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
2. There's a term called zoochosis, which isn't even a real term because when I search this up, the only results show either PETA or other anti-zoo websites. The better term for this is stereotypical behavior, which means unnatural behavior in captivity. For example, birds sometimes pluck out their own feathers, polar bears look like they're dancing, when they really aren't, and other animals pace back and forth. This is why it's important to provide animals behavioral enrichment, as it allows them to interact with something, rather than being insane all day long.
Zoochosis is divisive, largely because it's more of a broad term referring to any behavioral patterns that aren't fully understood than a recognized condition. Many of the most common behaviors associated with zoochosis are harmless, and better quantified as simple boredom, but they are still good indicators of whether an animal is satisfied with an enclosure.

The idea that a diagnosis of zoochosis represents genuine insanity, let alone to imply that it is inherent to all captive environments, is incredibly inaccurate and disingenuous.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
3. Sometimes the enclosure doesn't replicate how an animal lives in the wild. For example, polar bears can be found in polar ice caps and tundras. However, many zoos tend to provide them with a rock or concrete exhibit with no signs of grass. Though it is physically impossible to put a giant iceberg in an enclosure, as it may melt, why not add grass to the exhibit. Thankfully, some zoos have done this and even sometimes for an extra mile by shaving ice blocks into snow and spraying it all over the polar bear's exhibit (Good example being the San Diego Zoo).
Why is an enclosure not perfectly replicating the wild inherently a bad thing? There is good reason most animals live longer in captivity. Wild habitats are full of pitfalls, pollution, infection and disease, and it's important to find a middle ground between safety and comfort when designing enclosures for animals.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
4. Believe or not, there are some zoos that KILL their animals, either on accident, necessary, or purposely. Rather than talking about Harambe, I will give out different examples. In the Copenhagen Zoo, a HEALTHY male giraffe was killed and dissected in front of everyone, so they can prevent inbreeding. A better solution for this would be release the giraffe and replace it with a new male. They didn't stop there, they also killed 4 male lions just so they can 1 new male lion, that wasn't part of the group. Another example of dying animals in zoos is the infamous Surabaya Zoo, otherwise known as the "Zoo of Death". A male lion was found hanged in its cage (though this was the lion's fault) and a tiger was fed meat, laced with a chemical.
Why would you try to play this up for dramatic effect? It really should go without saying that any facility keeping large breeding populations of animals will need to kill some at some point. And why would you even mention zoos killing animals by accident, how is that relevant? I've seen deer that got their antlers tangled in plants and died that way, and lets not forget the countless little penguins that get dashed to bits in rough seas. That stuff happens a lot less often in zoos than in the wild.

As Flish has already said, with animals common in captivity like giraffes and lions zoos are often in the uncomfortable position of overpopulation or inbreeding when no other park will accept the animals. Would you rather they get sold off at auction to private owners?

And the accrediting organizations also have a very large role here, a facility can get it's accreditation revoked for selling or even giving animals to facilities that aren't themselves accredited by the same organization. Zoo A might be forbidden from donating overpopulated animals to zoo B since zoo B isn't accredited.

And really? Harambe was about to kill someone, and was refusing commands from handlers. It had to be done. Get over it.

ZoologistMatthew
Aug 12 2018, 09:53 AM
In conclusion, I believe that some zoos are necessary, ones that actually care about conservation, focus on the animal's welfare, and educating people about the beautiful creatures of the world. However, there are also bad or mediocre zoos that either need to be heavily improved, or shut down because the inadequate conditions for the animals will do more harm than good. I will respect everyone's opinion on zoos, so reply back if you agree or disagree with my opinion.
This whole thing just reeks of pretension. There are no animals wholly unfit for captivity, or zoos unfit for any animals whatsoever, merely different animals require different enclosures and some zoos are not equipped to care for some animals. Even the Surabaya Zoo has had great success with their Komodo dragons, who breed so readily that there are allegedly plans to open a Komodo dragon themed park separate of the zoo.
I understand how some of my points may not be correct or contradicting, but let me address some things you may have misread.

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[/Most of your "pros" either contradict your "cons" or are secretly cons themselves, so I'm only going to address those.]

How do my pros contradict with my cons? And just because I said I sometimes DON'T agree with a pro doesn't mean that my opinions affect the pro as a whole. I have a different opinion compared to others. Someone may agree with all of my pros, while another would disagree with all of my pros.

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[/None of those alternatives hold the same function, and are heavily limited by production costs. Name me a documentary where I can watch four hours of footage of spotted gar. It doesn't exist, but I can go to a zoo and watch the gar for four hours if I so please. Documentaries exist to make money, there will only ever be documentaries that appeal to mainstream marketable subjects.]

So lecturing someone about animals would require an entire business to produce? Sounds quite flawed, though a college lecture may cost money for the student. But by lecturing I'm talking about if like for example, I educated my brother about the benefits of zoos. And what do you even mean by they don't have the same function? All of their purposes is to educate or discuss a topic with another, though some example would cost money. Also wouldn't paying to visit the zoo just so you can be educated about animals cost money, especially if someone wants to learn about binturongs for example?

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[/So, if animals shouldn't be kept contained for human entertainment, that must apply to AI and robots too? We have primitive commercially available AI that rivals the cognitive functions of some invertebrates, and yet we literally put them in children's toys.]

Yet not all AI are put in children's toys. Would you ever find a Japanese robot maid at your local toy store? No, because it wasn't designed to be someone's precious toy, but rather, an invention created by brilliant scientists.

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[/The idea of "keeping animals for entertainment" being some sort of sin is absolutely ridiculous and has no basis in reason or science. People will keep animals for whatever reason they choose, and so long as they are well cared for and not over-collected it frankly isn't any of your business to dictate what reasons are deemed worthy.]

Keeping animals in exhibits may be fine, but using them to whatever the human thinks of is unethical because animals don't naturally do this in the wild. Would you ever expect to see a bear balancing on a ball in the wild? No because bears don't do that until they're forced to and trained to do so by the human. And not all animals in entertainment are taken well cared for because if the animal is not doing the correct stunt, then it would be punished by the human.

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[/Zoochosis is divisive, largely because it's more of a broad term referring to any behavioral patterns that aren't fully understood than a recognized condition. Many of the most common behaviors associated with zoochosis are harmless, and better quantified as simple boredom, but they are still good indicators of whether an animal is satisfied with an enclosure.]

How is zoochosis harmless for the animal? Zoochosis is a mental disorder, that can harm the animals psychologically and sometimes physically. Some examples of stereotypic behavior that harm the individual include feather-plucking, self-harm, and bar-biting(harms the teeth). Zoochosis is not just simple bordeom, it's more complex than that.

Saying zoochosis as false because it drives the animal insane makes no sense at all. Ever see a cheetah pacing back and forth in the wild? It's because they're not insane, unlike several cheetahs that live in captivity.

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[/Why is an enclosure not perfectly replicating the wild inherently a bad thing? There is good reason most animals live longer in captivity. Wild habitats are full of pitfalls, pollution, infection and disease, and it's important to find a middle ground between safety and comfort when designing enclosures for animals.]

If the zoo is managed badly, there's a chance that there will be trash in the animal's enclosures(not all the time) and animals can still catch diseases while living their life in a zoo, however many good zoos have veterinary care for their animals, but sometimes, it's not available.

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[/Why would you try to play this up for dramatic effect? It really should go without saying that any facility keeping large breeding populations of animals will need to kill some at some point. And why would you even mention zoos killing animals by accident, how is that relevant? I've seen deer that got their antlers tangled in plants and died that way, and lets not forget the countless little penguins that get dashed to bits in rough seas. That stuff happens a lot less often in zoos than in the wild.]

I only mentioned that some animals are killed by accident because sometimes, it's the animal's fault and not the human's fault. Later I mentioned a lion found hanged in a cage, so I have the right to add that sentence to my paragraph. Indeed, animals being brutally murdered in the wild can't happen in a zoo.

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[/And really? Harambe was about to kill someone, and was refusing commands from handlers. It had to be done. Get over it.]

When did I ever say anything about the Harambe incident? I only mentioned HIS NAME. I never complained about why they shouldn't had killed him, I only simply mentioned the name of the gorilla. And I already knew that it was necessary for the zoo to shoot him, as I learned from Jack Hanna, so I don't need your input. Plus, I didn't care about Harambe after a week from the event, so there's no purpose for me to complain anymore. It would rather be correct if you said "Get over it." only if I complained throughout my paragraph, but I didn't. I just simply mentioned his name. And you may now reply saying "Why didn't you mention his name? It was quite unnecessary for you to say his name". I only said his name, just so people don't ask me about him, but that probably wouldn't have happened because nobody cares.

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[/This whole thing just reeks of pretension. There are no animals wholly unfit for captivity, or zoos unfit for any animals whatsoever, merely different animals require different enclosures and some zoos are not equipped to care for some animals. Even the Surabaya Zoo has had great success with their Komodo dragons, who breed so readily that there are allegedly plans to open a Komodo dragon themed park separate of the zoo.]

So with your logic about saying that no animal is unfit for captivity, does that mean it's okay if I put a Blue Whale on display at an aquarium? That enclosure would be crazy expensive, plus even if it is a massive tank, the blue whale And about the Surabaya Zoo, it seems good that they are breeding komodo dragons, as we need to boost their population due to their Vunerable status, wouldn't it also be reasonable for the Surabaya Zoo to breed their other threatened species? Ones that really need to be saved from extinction such as the Sumatran Tiger or the Orangutan? Though my discussion may have sounded like an anti-zoo post with many errors, I wanted to let you know that I don't hate all zoos, as some do an amazing job at taking care of their animals.









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stargatedalek
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I'm not slow! That's just my moe!

Semantics and derivative off-topic attempts at rebuttal, not sure why I didn't expect this.

- "My cons don't contradict my pros because I can agree and disagree with something" is both a non-rebuttal to something that wasn't even a rebuttal and makes absolutely no sense logistically.

- I didn't say a lecture would require an entire business to produce, though it does. Who do you think pays the rent on that auditorium? No one is going to stay in business if they display four hours of gar footage. And no one is going to turn a profit if they spend the exorbitant amounts of money needed to record four hours of footage of wild gar so there wouldn't be any material to show in the first place. If I want to see four hours of uncut gar the only option is to view captive gar or capture some myself. Prove me wrong.

- Yes, not all AI is in toys, some go into expensive robots instead. Some go into cars. Some go into PA systems. I bet some go into fancy toilets. This is in no way a counterargument to my point. There are AI in toys that I can go out and buy right now, heck a decade ago, that are comparable to some invertebrates.

Can't wait till PETA starts trying to liberate sex bots. That's gonna be fun.

- Bears riding on balls has nothing to do with what I said. I said that animals can be kept for entertainment without causing them undo harm, therefore your claim that keeping them for entertainment is objectively evil is logically flawed.

We've already established that performing animals in modern institutions are not doing so because they are punished or frightened into performing, it is a form of enrichment that provides them both physical, mental, and social stimulation.

- Zoochosis is not a mental disorder. It's a collection of mostly unrelated symptoms that typically share one of several underlying causes.

"Saying zoochosis as false because it drives the animal insane makes no sense at all." Almost as little sense as making things up about a person when talking about that person to that person. My whole point was that you had no understanding of what zoochosis is, I never said it was fake because it drives animals insane. That is stupid.

If pacing isn't something animals do when bored then please do explain why animals pace when they're bored? As dumb as that sentence sounds, re-read it, I'm right.

- Apparently some zoos have trash in their enclosures, so all animals living in captivity have to deal with pollution the way wild animals do. Come back to me when sea turtles in captivity start washing up by the dozens with plastic bags blocking their throats and maybe I'll concede this one.

- Accidental death is not murder. An animal dying is not murder.

- You brought up the damned gorilla, not me, don't get snappy when I call you out for it.

- If you built a big enough tank than sure, feel free to put a blue whale in it. I mean good luck building that aquarium on Mercury, but my point still stands.

- What do you expect me to do about what animals the Surabaya Zoo chooses to breed? From the sounds of it they didn't even intend to breed the Komodo dragons, they breed readily on their own.
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