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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Past GT essay - Many people think that zoos which kept wild animals by man-made environment should no longer exist in 21st century. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

I agree that there is no place for zoos in the 21st century. I feel that zoos are an unsuitable environment for animals and therefore should be abolished. A number of arguments surround my opinion.

Firstly, zoo animals are kept in very confined area compared with their vast natural habitat. Due to this zoo animals develop unnatural habits like pacing back and forth or swaying from side to side. For example, polar bears are given about 10 metres of walking space where as in their arctic home they roam for hundreds of kilometers. Similarly, lions and tigers are confined in cages where they lack exercise and stimulation. What is more, it is very common for visitors to tease and provoke caged animals. This also leads to unnatural behavior in animals.

Secondly, the breeding programmes taken up by zoos are not very successful. For instance, the ‘Panda Breeding Programme’ has been very costly and unsuccessful. Also, zoo life does not prepare animals for the challenges of life in the wild. They are provided good food in the zoos, but if left in the jungle, they may die of starvation because they cannot hunt for themselves.

Finally, the zoo is an unnatural environment that exposes animals to many dangers. Diseases often spread between species that would never live together naturally. For example, many Asian elephants have died in African zoos after catching herpes from African elephants.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that, zoos are unnatural habitats for the wild animals and there is no justification in caging these marvelous creatures of God. It is not true to say that zoos are educational or that they help to save endangered species. In reality they only teach us how wild animals behave when they are cramped in small spaces. Breeding programmes provide zoos with good publicity, but in fact most of them are failures. Finally, zoo animals are more at risk of dying from disease or injury than their wild counterparts. It is time we abolish these cruel institutions.

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