Animals isn’t it? Animals develop abnormal behaviour when they

Animals should not be kept in zoos – restraining them from having a natural way of life. They should be living in their natural habitat, free from cages and prying eyes of visitors. If you were them, would you like to be locked up, too, away from your own peaceful haven? No, right? Then, why should they?    We know that zoos are places where animals are housed in enclosures (or cages) to be shown to the public. I believe that each and every one of us had already visited one – be it an animal park, or the modern version, safaris. But have you ever think how the animals feel when they are being looked at by different people? Around 12 hours (or more), each day of their lifespan? Imagine yourself sitting in the middle of a room, doing your daily routine, but with a lot of eyes following your every move, reacting to everything you do. It’s annoying, right? And when you’re annoyed, you feel different from your normal self. Like it’s either you want to hurt them, or just hurt yourself. Pretty scary, isn’t it?    Animals develop abnormal behaviour when they are held in captivity. An example is the chimpanzee, which is one of our closest relatives, humans. In a 2011 research article about chimpanzees living in zoos, they have cited that all of the tested subjects were showing abnormality in their behaviour – eating faeces, pat their genitals, plucking hair, or even hitting or biting themselves. This is very much in contrast with the behaviour of wild chimpanzees they also observed, where none of these are present. We may say that these abnormalities clearly shows psychological or mental illness that may have been caused by genes, but being in captivity is such a big factor that contributes to these patterns. They are socially deprived, since they can only see or mingle with whomever they are with in their enclosures. Most could have been in trauma since they are separated from their mothers in the wild, just to be kept in zoos.Captive animals also lived shorter than their wild counterparts. In an NGC (National Geographic News) news article by Maryann Mott in 2008, studies found that wild elephants lived more than twice as those in the zoos. Factors that greatly contributed to this are obesity and stress. In zoos, there is only a limit where animals can roam around, unlike when they are in the wild. From CAPS website, it was mentioned that 40% of lion cubs in zoos die earlier, compared to 30% of death in the wild mainly because of predators, which is clearly absent in zoos. These shows that in an enclosed environment, the animals’ mortality rate are greatly shortened, which will result to a decline in population of a species. We do go to zoos, usually because of educational purposes. To see animals from all around the world, all in one place. To know what they looked like or what they do. Yes we can still do now. But, what about the future? If more and more animals will be kept in zoos, only to die quickly, there will be a time that we can only see them in pictures or old videos. Most zoos are also crowded, leaving animals to little space of their own. Others are even deteriorating because of fund problems. It is a known-fact that zoos operates because of money, either from the visitors or the government. If there will be a financial problem with zoos, captive animals will starve unlike in the wild where their food could be found in the environment. Their cages will not be cleaned properly due to lack of staff. Most animals’ needs might be neglected. And since they are already used with being cared by people, they will barely survive, if not totally, on their own, If and if their ‘home’ will suddenly closed down and no other zoos can adopt them, leaving no other choice but to bring them back in the wild, where they are not familiar anymore.You may say that zoo owners already know these points I have mentioned, and that they already addressed or in the process of addressing these issues. Safaris, modern day zoos, try to imitate the natural habitat of the animals kept under their care. One example is the Dubai Zoo that was located in Jumeirah. After 50 years, the whole zoo was transferred in a new location, in Al Warqa, and now called Dubai Safari Park. Animals are not in cages anymore, and can freely roam around certain areas the park designated them. But this simple limitation of where they can go means that their natural instincts will still be limited. as you well know, animals in the wild live together in a very vast land, where they can run miles ahead. Many people say that zoos, or safaris, not only created this facilities for entertainment purposes only, but also to conserve wildlife, by doing studies with the animals while being held. But I believe that studying them in captivity, just gives a minimal information about how to conserve them, rather than letting them on their own and observe them in the wild. How can you know their potentials or their capacity if you will only observe them run around in circles instead of seeing them in action?By history, zoos are firstly called menageries. A collection of captive animals for display or entertainment of the owners, which is basically the most terrible idea ever. But then, time passed by and improvements on their (zoo, zoo owners) aims changed for the benefits of science, Zoology, being the study of animals, but also for the benefit of the animals themselves. This change of goals might not be so bad, but like I said, studying them needs not capturing them, keeping them away from their natural ways, taking away their freedom. Would it not be better to make sure their natural habitat are being protected and maintained? Isn’t it better to let them grow with their mothers, and study them without separation? Would you rather see a lazy crocodile rather than seeing how they managed to get food on their own? Would it not be nicer to see nature doing its own miracles, rather than imitating it with human intervention?Humans are technically animals, too, but we are always drawing the line between us and them. The animals might not have the same abilities we have, but same goes with our limited capacity incomparable to them. No one wants a suppression of freedom. And all of us have feelings, too. Animals should be cared and protected without taking away their own rights. Animals should not be kept in zoos. Let them live as freely as they can be.

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