How do you feel about keeping animals in zoos? Read both sides of the argument to help you decide.


Reading text

Are zoos a good thing?

Zoos are hugely popular attractions for adults and children alike. But are they actually a good thing?

Critics of zoos would argue that animals often suffer physically and mentally by being enclosed. Even the best artificial environments can't come close to matching the space, diversity, and freedom that animals have in their natural habitats. This deprivation causes many zoo animals to become stressed or mentally ill. Capturing animals in the wild also causes much suffering by splitting up families. Some zoos make animals behave unnaturally: for example, marine parks often force dolphins and whales to perform tricks. These mammals may die decades earlier than their wild relatives, and some even try to commit suicide.

On the other hand, by bringing people and animals together, zoos have the potential to educate the public about conservation issues and inspire people to protect animals and their habitats. Some zoos provide a safe environment for animals which have been mistreated in circuses, or pets which have been abandoned. Zoos also carry out important research into subjects like animal behaviour and how to treat illnesses.

One of the most important modern functions of zoos is supporting international breeding programmes, particularly for endangered species. In the wild, some of the rarest species have difficulty in finding mates and breeding, and they might also be threatened by poachers, loss of their habitat and predators. A good zoo will enable these species to live and breed in a secure environment. In addition, as numbers of some wild species drop, there is an increased danger of populations becoming too genetically similar. Breeding programmes provide a safeguard: zoo-bred animals can be released into the wild to increase genetic diversity.

However, opponents of zoos say that the vast majority of captive breeding programmes do not release animals back into the wild. Surplus animals are sold not only to other zoos but also to circuses or hunting ranches in the US or South Africa, where some people are willing to pay a lot of money for the chance to kill an animal in a fenced enclosure. Often, these animals are familiar with humans and have very little chance of escaping.

So, are zoos good for animals or not? Perhaps it all depends on how well individual zoos are managed, and the benefits of zoos can surely outweigh their harmful effects. However, it is understandable that many people believe imprisoning animals for any reason is simply wrong.

Total votes: 607
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What do you think about zoos? Are they a good thing, or is it cruel to keep animals in captivity?


Youjiro's picture
Youjiro 7 February, 2019 - 08:02

I thing zoo is good for us.wild animal especially endangered species are on the discussion.In fact Tigger is most expensive animal in zoo.Tigger is attract people that want to see wild animal. Nowaday tigger is protected by organization that keep wild life. advantage of zoo is attract us safely on the zoo. I went to zoo to see animal.I really enjoyed animal such as monkey,rino,tigger. Tigger is most popular animal in the zoo.I thought zoo is good for us to enjoy holiday .disadvantage is that animal in the zoo is not live in wild life .Animal used to feed from zoo staff.I won't get meat in wild life and they won't protect from predator. To sum up ,zoo is good for us but it need control to get animal from wild life.

0 users have voted.
parsasoroori's picture
parsasoroori 1 January, 2019 - 22:40

Maybe we should inspire more people to find more opponents to close the zoos. It's not a good idea to jail animals for any reason. They like freedom as well.

3 users have voted.
bilko's picture
bilko 24 June, 2018 - 13:41

in my opinion, keeping animals in the zoos is not good. I believe, every creature should live with their natural habitat like humans.

3 users have voted.
DeathlyHallows03's picture
DeathlyHallows03 24 July, 2018 - 11:09

I agree with you. Imagine that you're an animal that is always in the same place and without freedom. It is torture.

4 users have voted.
2GAMR98's picture
2GAMR98 3 January, 2018 - 03:48

I personally believe that zoos should be used only for endangered species or species with high risks of other predators in the wild, besides that these animal centers should be strictly controlled otherwise they are closed.

18 users have voted.
ambitioushouda's picture
ambitioushouda 2 September, 2017 - 07:04

i think that there are two kinds of zoos.first kind,zoos that respect the conditions of living of the animals ( protecting them from danger,extinction and poachers,education,safe place...etc)and second kind that exploit them for their benefits whithout evaluating the consequences. SO this kind is so cruel .

58 users have voted.
SLMT's picture
SLMT 28 August, 2017 - 17:16

I also think zoo is the most frightened place for animals.Who want to live in a cage?Do u also want to be in a small cage until u die?The answer will be No. Animals are also have brain and heart.Whichever animals are they , they want freedom. In my country,there are 2 zoos .Both of them have bad conditions. Being a developing country, no extra budget for animals in zoos.Country can't afford a lot on zoos.I am so sad to see the animals in zoo.In my country's zoos,animals aren't fed enough and they are always starving. Zoo keepers aren't kind to animals and they don't do their job properly because they only got less salary.Moreover,the climate of our country is always hot.Some of the animals who are used to live in cold environment face the worst situation in my country bcoz of extreme heat.When I went to zoo last summer,I saw penguins suffer heat alot and all of the man made ice are melting.They are so poor to be in a hot country.That's why,zoo doesn't always give good things to animals.If the nature of species,diversity of animals are not matched,animals only become the victims. If u see from other side of view,zoo helps alot in international breeding programs.They also help to reduce the increase rate of danger of population. Everything has pros and cons.We can't clearly decide what is right or wrong.

57 users have voted.
duzhixian8886's picture
duzhixian8886 29 July, 2017 - 15:15

After seeing this passage, I must admitted that it is cruel to keep animals in zoos. Firstly, some of the zookeepers treat the animals badly by giving them less food and using sticks to hit them. So that they live in bad conditions and never have the treatment they need. Secondly, when they were released into the wild , they will lose their instinct, they cannot hunt their prey because they were given some meat to survive when they were in the zoo. Thirdly, some of the endangered species may died when they were given some bad food, I mean, such as something that not suit for these kind of animals to eat. And if everyone keep chopping down the tree, the animals won't have their own natural habitat.

Keeping animals in zoos are not very bad, though. The manager of the zoo can earn money by the facilities inside the zoo and the tickets so that they can povide more mordern facilities not just for human but also for the animals.

53 users have voted.
SimonLee's picture
SimonLee 26 July, 2017 - 23:53

In my opinion, I don't think Zoo is a great thing. If you ask me why, let me show you what I think about it: Firstly, some zoos don't really care about animals, What they only care aboutis just to make money. In that case, animals always feel painful. Secondly, you may think zoo is a good thing, but don't you know what animal feel about? They want to be free, don't they? Last but not the least, in big zoos, some people always shout at or feed them, so lots of animals feel painful or dead quietly. In conclusion, zoos is not a great thing and I really hope they get less and less in the future.

49 users have voted.
QueenPinkBluebel's picture
QueenPinkBluebel 19 July, 2017 - 20:37

In my opinion, I'd say that it's cruel and inhuman to enclose animals in small areas and deprive them from their freedom and liberty because it can make the animals feel mentally bad. So instead of promoting zoos, we should protect and preserve them and let them leave safety and in peace in their natural habitats.

46 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 19 March, 2017 - 00:55

We mankind nowadays are kept in invidible zoos as well. Many got safety and food ; yield to be observed all the time by the "cyber security".....

97 users have voted.
Dibu's picture
Dibu 4 March, 2017 - 11:09

In my opinion, it's cruel to keep animals in artificial conditions, which can harm them and force to feel badly.
I hope, mankind will soon find another way to observe different species whereas it'll be safe for them.

142 users have voted.
axelar's picture
axelar 20 September, 2016 - 11:37

I think that zoos are bad because the animals in there often have a small area to run around in and they can easily get super stressed.

268 users have voted.
Ponfin's picture
Ponfin 20 September, 2016 - 11:33

Most zoo's are treating animals as good as they can but most zoo's are just treating the animals like they want.
Tourists are mostly there to see different species and take photos.
I don't like going to zoo's because I don't like to see animals from the wild being in a "jail", because it makes me sad to see that they have to look good for people but they just want to get out of there.

215 users have voted.
VivianAzure's picture
VivianAzure 7 August, 2016 - 02:53

The zoo is a entertaining place for people but it is not good for animals. Maybe we should only keep animals that are in endangered to cure them.

248 users have voted.
Svetlana273645's picture
Svetlana273645 17 July, 2016 - 15:58

From my point of view it is cruel to keep animals in zoos because animals can live in forest, eat what they want and there is a big territory. They can have cubs where they want to live.
Other people say that it ia significant to keep animals in zoos because there are lots of hunters and the animals can be killed. The best dicision for them to be in cages.
I am absolutely sure it is cruel to keep animals in zoos and do not give them freedom. More over animals can live more a long life in their natural conditions. To sum up we do not need to keep animals in zoos.

197 users have voted.
MicaelaV's picture
MicaelaV 12 July, 2016 - 20:16

I think that zoos are good only for the animals that are in endangered because can care of them and help them in their reproduction.

184 users have voted.
BelenO's picture
BelenO 12 July, 2016 - 02:53

The zoos are very nice but, I think animals should live in zoos without Because animals must live in nature. Zoos must be suitable for feeding animals that live there and Healthy and Happy. I also think an animal should be free and live with their same species due to respect for animal life. the animals should not be locked up , because they suffer and may die .

154 users have voted.
BelenO's picture
BelenO 12 July, 2016 - 02:20

I think animals should live in zoos without Because animals must live in nature. Zoos must be suitable for feeding animals that live there and Healthy and Happy

148 users have voted.
gabrielaarias's picture
gabrielaarias 12 July, 2016 - 02:11

I think zoos are not a good idea because they have animals in captivity , often are not in suitable habitat or climate, and are further away from animals of the same species and sometimes visitors assault zoos animals

153 users have voted.
VALERIA_PEREZ 12 July, 2016 - 01:50

The most important function of zoos, which benefits humans, is to serve as entertainment for people, especially for children. There is reduced stress and a pleasant time spent in contact with biodiversity.

Besides entertainment, zoos educate humans on the values ​​of respect and protection of nature, which is not only good for future generations, but also teaches them what the needs of animals and the importance of their conservation.

Zoos are places where scientists can conduct research on ecosystems, promoting conservation projects and ensuring the development of new techniques and medicines for animal health care.

Although the animals are not free, such as improvements in the conditions of zoos, new knowledge about the animal kingdom and technological advances occurring in nature, allow the conservation of species and animals in their environment Natural are threatened.

In this sense, keep captive animals, including feeding and caring for them properly, you may be holding back their full potential as living beings.

144 users have voted.
Jessyale's picture
Jessyale 11 July, 2016 - 22:43

I'm not in favor or against zoos , but seeing the level of urbanization and the destruction of their territories , would be in favor of a zoo that helps the reproduction of species in captivity as long as these animals are well cared for and treated .

127 users have voted.
VALERIA_PEREZ 11 July, 2016 - 04:52

i think t he zoos are not suitable to animals because here is where animals get so stressed and depressed.It´s worth say that some zoos are concerned endangered species and they have aid programs for this species.

129 users have voted.
jessmagui's picture
jessmagui 11 July, 2016 - 22:45

I think that zoos are not very good for animals because they deprive themselves of being in a natural environment for them, make them suffer much more debiles.los animals may even kill himself. these animals can not reach reproducirce because they find their partner and die and the species is over.

130 users have voted.
Danny_Llamuca's picture
Danny_Llamuca 10 July, 2016 - 01:52

I think that animals have the right to their freedom but for various circumstances have been taken from their natural habitat in a lot of cases they are victims of hunters who use them for commercial purposes selling their heads, skins or alive circuses mostly in the United States and Africa.
But there are also ministries helping them especially the endangered species leading them to zoos and animals that have been rescued from places where mistreated to give care and proper nutrition but also zoos that exploit animals who seek only attraction the public but there is another who use them for educational purposes which assist adults and children to witness magnificent animals conclusion think humans must raise awareness and protect animals so that they are not required to be brought zoos and much less mistreat places where they remain in their natural habitat that is where they belong.

129 users have voted.
Byfe's picture
Byfe 9 July, 2016 - 23:35

I think that the animals should have a secure enviroment and need to live with their families. I like the zoos because It also protects endangered animals. Also I consider that the people have to protect the animals because the animals are very important for the enviroment. I like to visit the zoo because I can know some animals.

132 users have voted.
Guadalupe's picture
Guadalupe 9 July, 2016 - 22:50

The zoos are not suitable to animals because here is where animals get so stressed and depressed. Many animals never feel confortable with these places and they commit suicide. Other animals live in bad conditions and never have the treatment they need. Animals do not need cages where people could look them. They need to be free.

128 users have voted.