Animals in Captivity

According to the Zoo Statistic, about 751,931 animals are living in institutions, and many of them are killed each year (Statistic Brain, 2017). Researchers have noticed that African elephants in zoos have lifespans of about 17 years, while wild ones live for about 36 years (Curiosity Staff, 2015). This is a massive difference, which means that zoos, where people collect wild animals in parks or gardens, are not beneficial to animals. Therefore, animals should not be held in captivity, as it harms them physically and mentally.

Starting off, many people say that the animals living in zoos will suffer physically and mentally, as their social needs are not the same or can’t be met in human society. Though some zoos do try to improve their conditions, zoos around the world differ in quality and in techniques for protecting their animals. An aquarium in Orlando called Sea World got a dolphin named Betsy who was previously in perfect condition and healthy. However, once Betsy arrived at Sea World, she started eating irregularly and quickly died (Sentinel Orlando, 2016). This conveys the fact that animals are not adapting to the institutions because they are held captive from their own lives, so there would not be any decent point in caging them. Adding on, people are harmed by keeping animals in captivity. There are incidents where dolphins kill workers or elephants critically injure people. It is a risk for them to be in zoos or aquariums, as these accidents are caused by the animals not being where they are originally supposed to belong.

Going on, multiple sources state how expensive zoos and aquariums are and also how they are a waste of resources to human civilization. Spending the money to create a “similar-looking” animal compound is less beneficial for overall conservation efforts. That same money could be better spent in a more centered conservation project. Some zoos spend upwards of $1 million a year just to maintain a single exhibit (Orens Shayna, 2017). There is a difference between having animals inside a small room with translucent walls for people to watch for entertainment and having them in places that focus on animals and their safety with much more freedom. According to Newsela, the San Diego Zoo in 2014 spent more than $10,000 on just advertising, according to its public financial statement. Like stated before, many institutions waste big amounts of money on things that are useless compared to other things the money could be spent on.

Furthermore, numerous zoos can’t provide enough space, so either way there isn’t a sufficient point in keeping animals when they could be free and live wherever they wish.

Tigers and lions have around 18,000 times less space in zoos than they do in the wild. In other words, zoos are not suitable for animals. There are sicknesses and diseases animals get from being too claustrophobic, which worsens the population. The territory becomes dirty and bacteria grow, making the animals become sick. Some say that keeping animals in captivity allows the animal population to be stable and stops certain species from being endangered. However, this is not the case. When animals are kept in small spaces, they become stressed, which causes them to not breed or reproduce. Having all the animals in captivity won’t prevent animals from being extinct and instead will be worthless.

All in all, animals should not be held in captivity, as it both harms animals and makes them suffer, since the human environment differs from their own habitats. Furthermore, there isn’t be any purpose, and it is a waste to keep animals in captivity. People come to zoos for enjoyment, and though these animals are stunning, their feelings and their lives are not the same in captivity.


Works Cited:

Orens Shayna. “Issue Overview: Should we have zoos?” Newsela, 2017.

Sentinel Orlando.SeaWorld won’t breed, replace unusual dolphins.” Newsela, 2016.

Statistic Brain. “Zoo Statistics” Statistic Brain Research Institute, 2017.

Curiosity Staff. “Do Animals Live Longer In Captivity?” Curiosity, 2015.

Annabelle F. “Animals Should Not Be Kept In Cages” The Bell Magazine, 2014.


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