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What's your opinion on zoos?

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What's your opinion on zoos?
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WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1190Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post What's your opinion on zoos?

Are they good or bad? Provided that animals are treated as humanly as possible.

On one hand keeping animals locked limits their freedom. On the other it could be one of the ways to educate general public about animals and wild life conservation.

Have you visited any nice zoos? I went to the zoo in Kà¶ln ages ago, don't remember too much from it, though :(
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Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:44 pm
CommonEnlightenmentUser avatarPosts: 649Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:06 amLocation: Plato Crater Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

Slightly Off topic:

We All live in a Zoo (it's called planet Earth).



On Topic:

With that in mind......... What distinguishes your Zoo from the Zoo of Earth?
There is still light in the 'Earthly' darkness. Finding light in the darkness can be more satisfying than merely seeing the glaring light of our sun. It gives us a better understanding of light and a deeper understanding of our universe.
Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:03 pm
PABUser avatarPosts: 382Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:34 pmLocation: UK Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

A difference is Zoo's are man made the earth isnt.
And the earth is not a zoo (Who would be the Zoo Keeper ...God or the ruling class?)

I have no strong ethical opinion on the subject, but i lean towards those advocate abolishing them.
Scientifically they are of little to no use. Culturally they are sometimes interesting and enjoyable, and can introduce children and people to animals they would normally never see with their real eyes. But i think a david antenborough film is just as good, and if people really need to see them with their own two eyes study zoology / ecology or simply go traveling.
Zoo's are of little value today, modern society has out grown them - hence the ethical arguments against animal cruelty weighs up against it in my opinion.

Animal sanctuaries ... different thing however
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Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:04 am
devilsadvocateUser avatarPosts: 246Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

This is something to consider as well, how do zoo's help endangered animals: http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... ed-animals

I guess this intersects with animal sanctuaries.

Also, I'm not sure if living in a zoo is always worse for the animal than living in the wild. Mother nature can be a bitch, too.
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Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:48 am
FrengerBloggerUser avatarPosts: 831Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:50 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

My knee jerk reaction is zoos are bad, mmmmkay. I don't like animals being subjected to a closed environment for the prying eyes of lowly primates. I think it's inhumane and I feel it's pointless. To me, my fondest memory is when I saw a manatee in the wild, I remember it meaning everything to me. 2 days previously I had seen several manatees at sea world and it just wasn't the same. I actually get a better feeling from watching blue planet then seeing animals in zoos, because at least you are seeing them in their own environment (as brutal as that can sometimes be).

Saying all that, I know zoos are important and I know they have to get funding from somewhere. They do a lot of good in terms of species conservation and as said previously, education.

This is a question where my answer is based purely on emotion and wishful thinking. You see, I'd like no zoos, but for everyone to show a bit of compassion when it comes to our fellow species. To perhaps not buy those ivory chess pieces, maybe not walk across a bear skin rug and if possible, don't spend your time hunting antelope because it makes you feel "manly".

Of course, that isn't going to happen so we need to educate. Although saying that, is it possible that caging animals only reinforces the idea that animals are ours to do with what we will? If we grow up only seeing animals in zoos at the mercy of the zoo keepers feeding schedule, do we regard animals as weak, reliant and as mere possessions? All things are possible I suppose. This might go some way to explaining why there seems to be no respect for nature and her inhabitants.

Anyway, I'm waffling, what was the questions? Ah yes, my opinion on zoos. I don't like them.
Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:20 am
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2963Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

I don't think there is much to be learned from viewing animals outside their ecological context.

Zoos are mainly just there to satisfy our urge to gawk at exotic stuff.

We'd all do much better to learn about our native ecosystems and understand organisms in their context.

Having said that I do appreciate efforts made to conserve and protect endangered species, but I don't have time for zoos in general.
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Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:15 am
AndiferousUser avatarPosts: 2727Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:00 amLocation: Laputa Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

Zoos' screw up alot, and I've collected a few tales I don't feel like repeating. Pet stores have made their mistakes as well (there's a thread somewhere)... but I've come to believe that commercial use of animals often lends itself to horror stories more often than the public zoo.

On the other hand, Zoos' do bring to light the importance of understanding and conserving populations and species across the world, which is a novelty for the average person. They also help educate children and help them to cultivate relationships with other animals - which is obviously important to everyone in the future.
On the scale of immorality, failures the zoo seems dwarfed by the ambivalence of most pet stores... or so I think.

Mind you, I'm a vegetarian who frequently tests herself with meat, who is quite adamantly opposed to pet stores ( so I'm going to be biased). I'm mainly against pet stores for their inability to provide safety to animals after purchase. That said, it seems to me that many zoos are more invested in providing quality care for its' animals, contrasted against the random person who buys a hamster and forgets to give them water for a week.

Most animals don't have any kind of effective charter of rights, which makes all of this problematic.

Lots of zoos also seem to be trying to participate in breeding programs for endangered species. I have heard stories from times when these programs themselves backfired and created more casualties than births. Other than this problem, the idea seems promising.

It's a greater evil issue to me, really...
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Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:19 pm
TheMissingNUser avatarPosts: 11Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:15 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

I don't think zoo's are a good thing. I'm not convinced that it has any educational value. People can be taught about animal preservation without necessarily having to see an animal trapped in a cage. I'm all in favour of animal conservation areas, but that's not what I would call a zoo.
Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:16 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2963Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

TheMissingN wrote:I don't think zoo's are a good thing. I'm not convinced that it has any educational value. People can be taught about animal preservation without necessarily having to see an animal trapped in a cage. I'm all in favour of animal conservation areas, but that's not what I would call a zoo.


Exactly, seeing a caged animal can give you a basic idea of its anatomy and appearance, but you learn fuck all else about it. As I said, animals make sense only in their ecological and evolutionary context.

I remember seeing a tiger that had worn a track around the outside of its enclosure from its repeated pacing around. Clearly this isn't indicative of how tigers behave normally, and was a symptom of the effect that removing an animal from its environment can have. All I learned from seeing that is how that tiger clearly wasn't meant to be there.
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Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:25 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

Not only do zoo's bring to light the value of animal conservation they can also do a lot of animal conservation themselves through breeding and release programs. If they make a bit of money to help support the effort by allowing the public to come and see the animals then so much the better.

Even without the conservation angle many creatures are perfectly content with their zoo-based habitats. Especially the large predator-free aviaries, aquariums, or primate houses with plenty to do and a constant supply of food.

The downside to zoos is when animals are treated poorly and obviously fail to flourish in their artificial environment. I'm opposed to animal cruelty and if a particular zoo cannot care for a certain species then they shouldn't have that species. But that's not to say a proper environment couldn't be provided in another location.
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Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:35 am
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tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

I am for animal preserves and sanctuaries. Most of the zoos I have visited the animals habitats are not big enough.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:24 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 784Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

A little point. I don't think that the fact that some zoos have poor condition for animals can be used as an argument for the consept zoos. Zoos, as most things, need some regulation to make sure they are as comfy (or, cause as little suffering) for the animals as possible.

By the way our local zoo (Finland has like two of them) is quite well known for it's conservations programs, specially for the Snow Leopard. Though it's unfortunate that Korkeasaari Zoo is, as the name implies, an island and there is only so much they can do to get the animals more space.
Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:01 am
AndiferousUser avatarPosts: 2727Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:00 amLocation: Laputa Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

If zoos can pull themselves together, they really seem like a good way to promote animal preservation and conservation for the future (as I said before).

My local zoo has made a number of preported mistakes causing the deaths of individual animals over the years -- however -- I can't say for certain that animals in the wild or animals in pet stores are any safer. In one case, a member of an endangered species (raised as a pet) owned by a local and donated to the local zoo was killed almost right away in a cage filled with too many other 'similar' species and a competing male of the same species; only for all other members of that species to die soon afterwards because the zoo failed to practise proper isolation of new animals, thereby spreading a deadly disease that wiped out all of the flock.

Sanctuaries and preserves are great - except that such idealistic retreats are only tailored for few specific species. I tend to believe wild animals in my region are better off than domestic, but even so, the government determines 'hunting season' for different species as to not upset the ecological balance over time.

Governments do perform 'culls' of species in the wilderness on occasion...

I tend to think that within capture, zoos are far more 'humane' than other options to my knowledge, although I still can't gauge moral 'humanity' in the wilderness.
"As there seemed no measure between what Watt could understand, and what he could not, so there seemed none between what he deemed certain, and what he deemed doubtful."
~ Samuel Beckett, Watt
Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:21 am
FrengerBloggerUser avatarPosts: 831Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:50 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

tuxbox wrote:I am for animal preserves.


Is that some kind of jam?
Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:42 am
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Duvelthehobbit666User avatarPosts: 1136Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:39 pmLocation: On a pale blue dot Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

Frenger wrote:
tuxbox wrote:I am for animal preserves.


Is that some kind of jam?

It's like animal crackers. Just preserves in the shape of animals.
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Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:43 am
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bluejatheistPosts: 525Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:28 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: What's your opinion on zoos?

They can provide an opportunity for people who may never have a chance to see many animals in the wild to experience them(the animals) in person and so potentially inspire more interest in biology and environmental conservation. This combined with responsible housing, care and treatment of the animals with limited numbers of animals removed from the wild, in my opinion, outweighs ethical concerns. Also zoos can be vital in housing species that are otherwise extremely threatened by extinction.
Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:22 pm
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