Roar!… The ear-bursting sound of the Lion’s famous roar echoes through the crowded Lincoln Park Zoo. It travels through the Reptile Room, as a Corn Snake coils up and lays down on warm fluorescent light heated stones. Through the monkey’s habitat, where a spider monkey is swinging through the trees, ripping at a banana skin to get to the juicy, sweet fruit inside. And through the entrance where children are running through the gates screaming, “ I want to see the tropical birds!” And, “ I want to see the tigers!” While the parents, carrying all of the bags, hurry to catch up.
This is the feeling of every zoo! Have you gone to a zoo? You probably have! The feeling of excitement, and everyone in the car arguing which animal they should see first. You have to admit, zoos are fun! But have you ever seen what happens behind all of the fun and games? Let me tell you that it is not pretty! That brings me to the main question I want to ask you! Should zoos be banned? My opinion? Yes! Do you want to know why? Zoos are abusive, not safe, and don’t match the animals’ needs!
The first reason that zoos should be banned is that their habitats are nothing like the places that they live in! Do you know that some animals travel 1,000s of miles a year? Those kinds of migrating animals live in huge grassy plains, millions of miles wide! Yet, they get put in “habitats”, the size of a backyard! With only a little bit of space to run! Imagine… you are an antelope who runs all day long, every day, for the whole year! Then you get put into a small cage that is nothing like your home! All the long grass is gone, replaced with short green grass, the giant raging rivers are gone, replaced by a metal water bowl! Worst of all there isn’t anywhere for you to run, explore, and go anywhere! Just stuck in the cage, the cage that is the opposite of your home. And you would have to live the rest of your life there! That would not make you happy, would it? Even critics can’t argue, it’s like standing in the same room, trapped for your whole life!
Do you like to be stared at or pointed at? Laughed at and even getting things thrown at you? I didn’t think so! You would think that person was a bully! That is how the animals feel, and that bully could be anyone, even you! Most animals in zoos would have never seen a human before in the wild. They are used to having lots of places to hide, behind rocks, in trees, in their nests, or in homes. And when they are put into zoos, they have nowhere to hide. All of their rocks are plastic, there is no underground, just a thin layer of dirt and then a thick concrete floor! The animals feel very stressed when there is nowhere to go, or hide, and just get in the shade, and away from the crowd. Wouldn’t you?
Have you ever been on a vacation? Most people have. I bet that you know what it’s like to live in a totally cold place, and then go to a totally hot place! Or, vice versa. It’s hard to get used to. Believe me! Imagine… You are a polar bear, sleeping in your den, with your nice warm fur, the temperature is perfect for you. You are drowsy, and quickly fall asleep. Then the sound of a helicopter jerks you out of deep sleep! You try to run but you get hit by a tranquilizer dart! Then you open your eyes, “ Where are all the glaciers?”, you think, “Where am I? It is so hot out here, it’s so bright!” You stagger into the water but it is hot and dirty as well as grimy! You would feel like you were melting! Am I right? Uncomfortable. That actually happens a lot with zoo animals! They are taken from their habitats and put in completely different ones, four or five times warmer, or colder, than their natural habitat! It is unhealthy for the animals at zoos!
You eat many foods, right? Like a balanced diet! You eat at a little bit of a different time every day, with different foods. One morning you eat Strawberry Yogurt and Orange juice, but the next you drink English Tea and eat Eggs with cheese. But if you lived in a zoo you would eat the same food every day, the same amount, at the same time! Not fun! If you were a lion this might be your eating schedule,
10:00 a.m 10 pounds of steak
1:00 p.m public feeding of 10 pounds of steak
5:00 p.m 10 pounds of steak
Pretty dull right? Even skeptics can’t argue that zoo animals aren’t offered a healthy range of food
The second reason that zoos should be banned is that it isn’t good for animals, they get abused, shot, and even killed! One man says that he saw his co-workers shooting big animals, like lions and bears, and then taking selfies with them! “It was like the animals were a trophy to them!” In another part of the interview, he states that “ I had no idea that this was even happening!” The man said. Luckily this interview was on live news and the shooting and abuse of the big animals at that zoo were put to a stop. But can you believe that anybody could be that cruel!
Once on a security camera at Hanover Zoo they caught a video of zookeepers abusing young elephants by hitting them! They hit them with “Elephant Hooks”, a 70-centimeter long metal rod with a steel hook at the end. They used them to force animals to do tricks! They could also be seen hitting young elephants in their heads. In one a zookeeper could be seen dragging an elephant up by its neck, causing it to cry out in pain! In one video a young elephant could be seen trying to run away, but two zookeepers chased the young elephant, waving “ Elephant Hooks” at the animal, until it turned in a circle, sat down on its hind legs, and begged! The security cameras were hidden by the police to track the zookeepers’ behavior! Once accused the zoo owner Andreas stated “ They are only to help train the animals!” Even critics can’t argue that the video caught on the security cameras was not like any friendly animal training I have ever seen!
My last reason is that animals get angry in captivity, lash out, and even kill some innocent people! Zoos aren’t safe for us either! In 2016 a 3-year-old boy climbed the fence and jumped down into the moat in the endangered gorilla exhibit! The gorilla grabbed the boy angrily from behind! The workers had to shoot the gorilla to save the boy’s life! Sadly the gorilla died, but the boy was perfectly fine with not a scratch on him.
On 2006 December 22 a white Siberian tiger named titan which was 350 pounds was having a public feeding when out of excitement the young tiger jumped up and scratched the zookeeper’s arm! Her skin and arm were severely damaged, but she recovered quickly. Then on 2007 December 25, the tiger escaped! Attacking three people, and killing one. The man who was killed, his name was Carlos Sousa from San Jose California. The other 2 who were injured received surgery for their attacks and recovered quickly. After the zoo found out that the tiger escaped they asked everyone to take shelter. Soon after they found the tiger near the cafe with one of its live victims, they shot the tiger.
In conclusion, zoos should be banned. Because they are unhealthy for the animals and people. So next time that you are offered to go to the zoo, you should think about how the animals feel, and how they can react when angry, and just stay away from the zoo!