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Are Zoos Good or Bad for Animals?

Zoos are the perfect day trip for schools and family outings but are they good or bad for the animals? Zoos are a controversial topic where people usually have a strong stance pro or against it. Both sides though have valid and supported arguments so let’s take a look at some of them and you can decide which side you are on.

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The Good.

While nature programs on TV are educational and allow you to see the animals in ways that are usually impossible, it is not the same as seeing them in person. Zoo Berlin is one of the most famous zoos that welcomes visitors to explore there 15,000 animals that consist of around 1,700 different species. There is no where else on earth that you can see that many animals in such a small space.

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It is extremely educational for young and old alike. Over time the educational programs that are offered by zoos has increased in quality making it the perfect place for schools and families to learn about the importance of conservation and the complexities of each species.

Many of the larger zoos receive their animals through captive breeding programs rather than captured from the wild. Animals that have been abandoned or are endangered or threatened can often be found in zoos and are often working closely with conservation projects and reintroduction programs.

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The Bad

While there are many zoos that are headed in the right direction and have good intentions, there are also unfortunately plenty of zoos that are well below standards. Some have even been said to intentionally treat some of the animals cruelly.

Many opponents of zoos also say that while the habitats for these animals is improving, many animals that are used to roaming around in the wild and hunting for their food do not receive sufficient exercise and can lead to mental and physical challenges. It is also difficult to get the correct temperature and diets for many of the animals.

Conservation projects may have good intentions but the effectiveness of them has been questioned. Many animals have shown signs that they do not develop correctly in captivity and tend to have shorter life spans. There is also a high infant mortality rate and the breeding records are unfortunately quite low.

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Unfortunately this question is not an easy one to answer and varies dramatically from zoo to zoo. Before heading out for your next zoo visit, do some research and read about their history and the programs that they run. Decide for yourself if you should be supporting this zoo or if your money would be better spent elsewhere.

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