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Zoos: Good or Bad?

Are zoos more beneficial or harmful to animals?

Animals all over the world are being abused and mistreated. It is unfortunate that there are people that don’t care about said animals. Luckily, there are zoos to help. After reviewing the three sources, "What Zoos Do" by Amy Miller, "Issue Overview: Should We Have Zoos?" by Shayna Owens, and "Lifespan of Female Elements in Zoos and the Wild," you learn about all of the good that zoos in America have done. There are many people who believe that zoos are a reason for this claim, however, in reality, zoos are more beneficial because they make conservation efforts around the world and rescue said animals from abuse.

One reason that zoos are more beneficial than harmful is that zoos make conservation efforts around the world. In the source, "What Zoos Do" by Amy Miller, you see that all animals are in danger of being extinct and we learn that zoos do all to their ability to save these animals, including traveling across the world to do so. One example that states how zoos are beneficial says, “Scientists at the Houston Zoo are working with people in Venezuela to save the tapir… it’s hunted for its thick hides and it’s losing its habitat in South America’s forests to development” (10). This shows that zoos are not just for show and that they have changed, even if sources may say that they are for the sole purpose of saving animals and helping them from endangerment and abuse. Another reason that shows that zoos make conservation efforts around the world from the same source states, “...The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which is headquartered at the Bronx Zoo in New York City, is working with local officials in Malaysia to stop people from hunting exotic birds to sell their feathers”(4). It is without a doubt that zoos are beneficial because of their conservation efforts which are being done around the world. Also, when people hear that zoos are making conservation efforts, they will be inspired to do more conservation efforts as well.

Another reason that shows that zoos are more beneficial is that they rescue animals. In the source, “Issue Overview: Should We Have Zoos” by Shayna Oreans, we find that many zoos across the world are saving animals that may be in abusive situations or are going endangered faster than the average animal, which is because of loss of habitat, because it is being hunted, because its food is going scarce, or because of natural causes. One example of this states, “One was the return of the red wolf in the southeastern United States after it had nearly gone extinct.” This shows that after the zoo saved the red wolf from going extinct, which to many people is a big deal, they were able to send them back into the wild. This was a big deal because they have to work with the government and even sometimes international groups such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to be able to send these animals back to their original habitats. Another example that shows that zoos rescue animals from the source stated above states, “In 2002, U.S. authorities seized six polar bears from a Mexican circus... The Suarez Brothers circus had abandoned them on a hot day. The bears had been abused and underfed. After being moved to zoos in the U.S., the bears, Alaska, Royal, Willy, Masha, Boris, and Kenny, recovered.”( 16) This shows that because of the efforts made by the zoo, the six polar bears survived, and without them, it is not guaranteed that they would have survived. In the article, it also says that the zoos offered them well-spaced environments with swimming tanks as well. Zoos, over the years, have become even better at rescuing animals and there will be even better works coming in the future.

The actions made by zoos, whether it is conservation efforts or rescuing animals from abuse, are overall more beneficial than harmful. These zoos have saved animals from endangerment and rescued them from dangerous situations where they were being abused. Due to groups like the AZA, in the United States, zoos are being watched under supervision making sure that these animals are in safe and loving hands. Due to the three sources, they show that many people may think that the work of zoos is harmful, however, zoos do all that they can to save animals and promote conservation as well as biodiversity.

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Zoos: Good or Bad?
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