Zoo’s: Imprisonment or Preservation? Zoos have become a

Zoo’s: Imprisonment or Preservation? Zoos have become a controversial issue
in our society and the debate of whether or not confining animals is a popular
one that attracts both opponents and proponents. Many people believe zoos are
helping preserve endangered species from going extinct. Others will argue that the
animals should be out in their natural habitats, rather than in confined areas
for our entertainment. Although zoos have become part of American Culture, the fact
is that zoos are not a natural habitat for these animals, therefore they cannot
live a natural life. The outdated and unhealthy facilities contribute to a
lapse in animal care and does not contribute to sustainably ran zoos.
            First,
the introduction of zoos and animal parks dates all the way back to 2300 BC in
the Sumerian city of Ur, according to The National Geographic. Fast forward to
the 19th century when the first “Modern Zoo” opens in London at
Regents Park in 1828. There, animals were housed indoors with cement floors and
tiled walls, much like the inside of a prison cell. The excitement from the
public came when zoos focused on bringing in big, dangerous animals. These
animals became increasingly difficult to catch in the wild, and many of the
species were disappearing all together. It wasn’t until the government stepped
in with their selfish motives to sell these animals to zoos and other
entertainment parks, that the facilities decided to provide better and more adequate
care for their animals.
            Today,
there are many different types of Zoological parks. Safari parks, animal theme
parks, aquaria, roadside and petting zoos. Amongst these, safari and animal
theme parks seem to be most popular. SeaWorld San Diego opened its doors in
1964 with only two seawater aquariums, a few sea lions and several dolphins. Their
biggest claim is animal rescue and rehabilitation. In the last decade though,
they have been receiving a lot of criticism for their procedures. When movies
like The Cove and Blackfish came out, a lot of fingers were pointed at SeaWorld.
These marine mammals were being targeted for their Shamu and Flipper appearances
to perform in shows. Once captured, these orcas and dolphins were kept in tiny
confined quarters. Orcas and dolphins as well as other marine animals, are used
to swimming hundreds of miles a day. They are not used to being confined to
tanks where they can only swim in circles. According to Orcas Home, an
organization that protects killer whales, has reported more attacks on humans
by orcas in captivity than out in the wild. An amount exceeding 150 attacks and
with 56 of those attacks coming from SeaWorld in San Diego. These attacks brought
on by orcas, are caused by stress.
            If
these animals are going to be displayed to the public, as it clearly states in
the definition of a zoo, than we need to really consider the well beings of
these creatures. 

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