Maggie S. North Dakota

Cages, Abuse, and Mistreatment: What's the Big Deal?

Zoos are a major problem today and need to be monitored and looked at more closely. There are many issues that involve zoos that are not being looked at.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. President,

Animal cruelty in zoos is a major problem today. Animals are not being treated how they should be treated and the habitats they live in are usually not like the ones they would have in the wild. A few years ago I was at the Winnipeg zoo and we were at the polar bear exhibit. I was very upset when I saw the condition of this exhibit. It was very small and not enclosed so it was very warm. Most polar bears like in the Arctic and cold temperatures and the exhibit was clearly too warm for it. No wild animal should be locked up in a cage its whole life, it just isn’t right. Not to mention the animals diets in the zoos. Animals have set times when they eat instead of eating when they are hungry. Animals in zoos never learn to hunt or care for themselves and don’t learn to adapt to changes.

There is no control over what zoos can do to their animals. According to PETA, at the Scarborough Sea Life Center, penguins were given anti-depressants because they were unhappy. I mean how could you be happy being locked up in a cage your whole life? Also, in Toledo a bear was locked up to hibernate, but ended up starving to death because the zookeepers didn’t know that its species didn’t go into hibernation. The amount of things that zoos get away with are not acceptable and need to be changed. In zoos, animals do not live as long as they would in the wild. According to Vegan Peace, the average lifespan of zoo elephants is about 16-18 years, while wild elephants can live 50-70 years. Animals in captivity live a shorter life, while animals in the wild live a longer life. This shows that even though they are monitored closely, without having the natural habitat it’s supposed to have it does not live as long.

As much as zoos think they have nice environments for animals, there will never be enough space for some of them. Elephants can walk up to 50 miles a day in the wild and in zoos they barely get 2. Also, some animals are used for animal testing in zoos. Animals have no rights in zoos and can be bred and sold to other zoos and people. This is not okay and needs to be addressed. Although some people say that zoos are for educational purposes, I say that there are other ways to learn about wildlife then trapping animals in cages. Students and kids can watch the animal channel and go out into the wilderness to learn about animals.

Thousands of animals, birds, and reptiles will find themselves far away from their homes, as people continue to bring them into zoos. For the most part zoos are not healthy environments for animals and they should not be able to treat them however they want to. There should be more regulations and they should be monitored more closely. Zoos can be used for educational purposes but, they usually are just used for entertainment while there are much better ways to learn about animals without having to lock them up in cages. We should take better care of our animals and focus on what they need to be healthy and happy.