[quote=“itakitez”]It was always my impression that the role of zoos was for the education of visitors and for the continued study of the animals in captivity, with the additional benefits of breeder programs for rare/extinct animals as a means to protect the current biodiversity.
Secondly, it was my impression that the “aquatic animal trick shows” grew up almost by accident, initially the trainers player games with the animals for their entertainment and stimulation, and then some bright spark decided this was entertaining and a means of raising funds for the zoo.
I agree that the dirty, cramped cages are an aborration, but to tar all zoos with the same brush is a little extreme. However, I do not have issues with a well designed zoo, in which the animals remain stimulated and have sufficient space. Although this space is smaller than the wild, I do no think it needs to be as large as their “natural territory” since the feed (which is surely the reasons for the natural territory size) is brought in.
I think anyone who sees mistreated anmals at a young age would be turned off zoos, and seeing animals in the wild is a joy, but I think allowing many people the opportunity to see animals close up is a great function and helps youngsters and adults to appreciate the beuty and individualism of animals so preventing their mistreatment. I still remember the Tiger I saw strutting up and down at Singapore zoo, I was just 2-3 meters away on the other side of a pane of glass - incredible, I never before appreciated the size of a tiger before.[/quote]
Adding to that…
I don’t think enough can be said about what we actually learn from animals in zoos that can’t be collected in the wild. Understanding an animals behavior is the best way to help them. This makes zoos incredibly important for endangered species.
A properly run zoo is a good thing.