Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quality of Animals’ Life


Do you like zoos? Do you think the zoos are good? “Zoos may be popular with children but zoos have been frequently criticized by animal rights groups” (Yau, 2008, para.1). The zoos have been criticized by people for a long time. People didn’t know what was wrong about the zoos, because the zoos are the safest place for the animals without hunters and infections (Yau, 2008). The zoos protect a lot of animals; also the zoos help to breed animals. Breeding became the biggest part in the zoos. “Breeding exotic animals has become a science in matchmaking at the National Zoo and Aquarium” (Animal instincts on love, 2008, para. 1). People all know that zoos did a lot to protect animals. So sometimes people think that’s unfair for the zoos, but later they know the reason the animal rights groups criticized the zoos. The groups want the animals to go back to the wild, because the living environment for the animals is too bad. Sometimes people can see there are a lot of natural features in the zoos, but that is not true. Most of the natural features are made of concrete (Hancocks, 2007). The animal rights groups want the animals to be able to live in the natural habitats. The animals can feel bored that they are always staying in the cages. Also, according to Hancocks (2007, para.10), “hardly any animals born in zoos are introduced to the wild.” That’s why the animal rights groups don’t like zoos. Because the animals’ lives are not good, that makes many people feel angry at zoos. And more and more zoos are criticized. They need more wildlife parks, or some spaces that feel like the natural habitats for the animals. Also, people should learn how to share the world with the animals.

First, more and more wildlife parks are needed for the animals. Nobody likes to stay in the cage. Almost all the zoos keep their animals in the cages. People know the cage is to protect or keep the animals, but it still hurts animals. The animals always live in the wild and they are free to run or play. When they stay in the zoos, they don’t have freedom anymore. It feels like putting someone in jail. “Life in the wild is complex, unpredictable and frequently dangerous, but it is where animals belong” (Zoos: The debate, 2004, p.22). “The breeding program was about conserving species, so that one day they might be released into the wild” (Animal instincts on love, 2008, para.12). There is a problem that the animals that are born in the zoos have difficultlty going back to a wild world. Many animals that go back to the wild from zoos have died. The wild is the best place for animals, but it’s still dangerous for the animals. So more and more wild parks are needed for the animals. The wild parks are some natural places for the animals that belong to the zoos and are protected by the zoos. Animals can live in the wild parks with people’s protection. Also, they can feel free to live in the parks, because they have more space to have fun. By this way, the animals that are born in the zoos can easily go back to the wild, because they can learn how to live in the wildlife park. They still have the abilities to live in the wild by themselves. According to Yau, “it is a popular tourist attraction and visitors travel around in trams in jungle-like setting dotted with moats instead of cages and steel bars” (2008, para.20).

Second, some spaces that are natural habitats for the animals are necessary. According to Gooddall in her article “The role of zoos”, “The habitats of wild animals around the world are in jeopardy because of human population growth, global environmental threats and unsustainable economic practices” (2008, para.2). So we should find some ways that could give animals a better place to live and also save some spaces. The spaces that feel like the natural habitats are needed. So zoos should build some places that feel like the natural habitats. And there are already some places like this that have been built. According to Hancocks, the goal for the spaces is, “give maximum opportunity for animals to engage in natural behaviors in large and complex natural landscapes” (2007, para.7). When the animals live in this place, they will have enough space to play. Also, they can feel that they still live in the wild. That can make the animals keep their wild habits, because people don’t want the wild animals to become pets. According to David, in his article “Zoos without bar open doors”, many visitors like to go to Underwater World; also they can swim with the fishes (2009, paras.7-8). Also, people like to go to this kind of zoos, because nobody likes to have fun in the jail. To visit this kind of zoos can make people feel like staying in the wild. It feels more natural than other zoos. Zoos don’t need to find wild space for the animals. They can just build a place for the animals. Animals can stay away from the cages; also they can live in a good environment. By this way, more and more people want to go to this kind of zoos, because these kinds of zoos feel more like a natural place. Nobody likes to go to jail.

Finally, people should learn to share the world with the animals. All the species are equal in the world. People may not think they are the best species in the world, but they use most of the resources in the world. They are too selfish to use the space, forest, river, and so on. People cut a lot of forest to built cities. People have homes to stay in but that has made animals lose their hometowns. More and more wild spaces have been devastated by humans. Many rivers are full of pollutions which makes animals not have water to drink. Also, people kill animals, which makes more and more species disappeare in the world. Because of all these reasons, the zoos are needed. But the living environments for the animals are too poor. So people should learn how to share the world with animals. The education program is a popular way to teach people to love animals. To educate children is a good idea, because the children like this kind of education and they can bring this kind of information back to their parents. “Zoos teach children to connect with nature, love and appreciate animals, preserve biodiversity and how animals and human can co-exist” (Yau, 2008, para.17). Many zoos have the education programs to teach people to love the animals. But education is not enough anymore. People should have their own ideas about protecting animals, and then they can try to share the world. People can easily do something to help the animals. The important thing is try to remember there are still other species that need people’s help. People cannot use everything in the world.

It has been argued that the zoos are good enough to protect animals. However, better living environments are needed for the animals. Most zoos just keep the animals in the cages. Maybe to keep the animals in the cages is a kind of protection. But people still think that is too bad for the animals. They cannot run or play in the cages. The only thing they can do is stay in the cages. If this is a zoo, the zoo is the same as a jail. Maybe the jail is better than a zoo. People think that the better zoos are needed to protect animals. The animals need quality of life. Zoos should try to give this to the animals. Zoos can do a lot of things to help animals to get a better environment. The zoos are not enough for the animals. There are still a lot of things that should be improved. A jaguar just died in the cages in Hong Kong Zoological and botanical Gardens (Yau, 2008). A zoo is the place that can protect animals, but the jaguar just died in the cage. The zoo must find some ways to change the animals’ living environment. Zoos can find some wild spaces or just build some natural habitats for the animals. But the most important thing is people should know how to share the world with animals.

In conclusion, the animals need better living environments to live in. “For more than 30 years I’ve been directing and planning them; thinking, researching and writing about them; pleading for them to try to meet their potential. It has often been like pushing water up a rope” (Hancocks, 2007, para.1). The people who love animals make many good ideas, but zoos never pay attention to the ideas. People didn’t do enough in the past, so they need more innovation right now. Changing living environment is the most important thing for the zoos. And zoos should do this as soon as possible. Many animals are still staying in the cages. It’s the time to make some innovations to change animals’ life. People should learn how to share the world, and build more wildlife parks, and natural habitat spaces are needed for the animals. If people want to do that, the living environment for the animals will change a lot. In the future, more and more better zoos will be built. The animals can live in a good environment. They can stay away from cages and boredom.


Animal instincts on love, (2008, November 2). Canberra Times. Retrieved June 2, 2009, from Lexis Nexis database.

David, K. (2009, March 15). Zoos without bars open doors. Sunday Tasmanian. Retrieved June 2, 2009, from Lexis Nexis database.

Goodall, J. (2008, May 26). The role of zoos. The Times. Retrieved June 2, 2009, from Lexis Nexis database.

Hancocks, D. (2007, June 20). The right and wrong ways to zoo it. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved May 31, 2009, from Lexis Nexis database.

Yau, E. (2008, September 30). Seeking a cosy haven for animals; Zoos claim they help protect endangered species while activists say animals should be left to roam in the wild. South China Morning Post. Retrieved May 26, 2009, from Lexis Nexis database.

Zoos: The debate. (2004, February). Ecologist. 34(1). Retrieved June 2, 2009, from EBSCO database.

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