Jaqueline Vargas, Reporter
“Duck….Duck… Goose!” People have wondered about what zoos have become these days. Kids love them, adults find them sometimes tiring, but what about the animals?
From their first arrival in July 1, 1878, until today, zoos have benefited the lives of animals and people, but also have provided some problems to the animals themselves. This very controversial topic on why zoos should still stand today has brought controversy to society and, sometimes, can often lead to frustration. But do not worry! We got it all under control. Everyone has an opinion, and, when talking about zoos, they can lead to numerous perspectives.
“Do zoos have serious programs to save endangered species, beside putting a few captives on display for everyone to see?” asks Kelly Traw. Most zoos are not only great to get up places close to wildlife, but most are still doing their part to support weakening populations of animals still living free in the wild. For instance, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan Program aims to manage the breeding of specific endangered species in order to help maintain healthy and self-sustaining populations. Zoos play a crucial role. It is debated that animals have no rights in zoos, however, look at it from another angle. Animals are being hunted down for a lot of reasons nowadays. Zoos can act as safe cages for these animals and help protect them. Following, animals have been exposed to cruel treatment in the past when they were in zoos. Now, the government is making sure that animals are treated right, and that humans are targeted for their abusive actions toward wildlife. Next, coming to education, zoos play a very important role in student’s, especially children’s, daily lives. Children have the opportunity to enjoy learning about different animals and endangered species. Zoos also have informative signs that portray fun facts, which could be really beneficial for the children to learn. These signs include: their natural habitat, how many there still are in the world, what they eat, what they like to do, etc. These sorts of things can raise awarenesses toward important issues on animals and wildlife. Then, zoos are actually crucial to protect endangered species. As mentioned before, animals are being hunted down by humans. Zoos are not always going to be paradises, but they act as safe homes for hunted animals.
WHAT THE PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY
“Zoos take good and proper care of animals. When animals get hurt or sick, a vet makes them better right away. If the zoos remain in the wild, sick animals would die,” states Karen Vargas. She mentions that zoos help animals reproduce, and not get extinct. If we did not have zoos, the extinction rates would probably be higher than ever, just because of declining animal health. “Actually, zoos can be helpful but also harmful depending on which side you look at it from,” continues Grace Lee, an eleven year old that really enjoys the wildlife. She states that sometimes zoos do not take proper care of animals, because “they sometimes leave them there to die instead of actually helping them.”
“Well, I think that some animals are not very happy in zoos. They obviously want to be free to walk, run, fly, hunt, and have their own families and not just have to stay in cages,” says Fernando Vargas, a sophomore at Samueli Academy. He states that he doesn’t think that animals would like their babies to be taken away from them and put in a different cage or sold to a different zoo. “They would probably get angry and frustrated because they cannot leave the zoo, which makes them do strange things and begin to get mad easily,” says Jessica Hernandez, a junior at Cypress High School.
People have been worried about animal cruelty lately, doesn’t it bother you, too? “Many people are not aware of the cruelty behind zoos,” says Michelle Carr. Captive animals, due to boredness and loneliness, suffer from conditions, like, ‘zoochosis.’ Michelle says: “If you’ve ever witnessed a captive animals rock and sway back and forth, you’ve seen the disease first hand.” Moreover, capturing animals, some say on the internet, is cruel. People say that animals have their own rights, and they have their own lives in the wild. People are just harming animals and their everyday routines in the wild-where they belong. Then, animals that are confined to zoos tend to suffer from negative psychological effects because of the confinement. The space they are often in are sometimes too small for them to move, walk around, etc. so they would not get the same amount of freedom, like Fernando Vargas says, they would have in the wild. Next, animals need to live in their original habitats-in the wild. I believe that you cannot just fake a zoo and place an animal there, because the animal would not experience the true place in which they belong. They would have hard times adapting to their natural homes if they were placed, all of a sudden, in the wild, because they are not used to them. I feel like most who visit the zoos do not really take into consideration the the well- being of the animals, and many just abuse them by yelling at them, etc. This can also lead to psychological damages to animals, sometimes being fatal as well.
As you have seen, there are numerous sides to a story like this, and I believe that every side needs to be heard. So, where is your stand? Will you come on a safari with me, or not?
Editor Board, 2017-2018
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