Nailah Green (4:50)
Honors English 10
27 October 2018
Animals’ Last Hope
How many of you have heard a news report about an animal going extinct? I recently came across a report about the newly endangered species of sand kittens. Zoos might be the future of this species. Zoos today transcend the expectations when it comes to preserving species’ viability. Their focal point remains on the well-being of each animal. Although some wildlife experts disagree, some animals should be kept in zoos to ensure their safety, prevent extinction and extend their life-span through preventive health-care practices.
Some animal behavior specialists’ reason that the zoo’s environment has a detrimental effect on the stress level of the animals. Because of this stress, animals act out in ways that affect both themselves and the visitors. According to The New York Times, the news about Harambe and his shooting “spurred debate about whether...gorillas” should live in zoos (Klein). The Boston Globe claims that “compulsive behavior…is distressingly common among captive animals” because some zoos don’t account for the special needs of these animals (Scharfenberg).
These specialists don’t recognize that zoos are often safe havens from the repetitive occurrences of poaching and habitat loss. Wildlife habitats are being destroyed by natural causes and human intrusion, meaning that keeping some animals in zoos could be the ultimate solution for preserving their safety. Postmedia Network Inc. states that zoos “can act as safe havens” and “instead of being illegally hunted or poached, animals are provided safety” (Agnew). In addition, Postmedia Inc. has found that “animals do not suffer from stress of threats or being potentially hunted by their common predators” proving that zoos can in fact reduce the stress level of their animals (Agnew). Without stress, these animals will have less worries than they did in the wildlife. Postmedia Inc. concludes that “zoos and aquariums have become the last refuge for many species” confirming that zoos are protecting animals from potential dangers (Lanthier).
An additional disputation an objector may have is that some zoos use inhumane tools to take control of the animals. These zoos use unpleasant strategies because they are uneducated in how to properly manage the animals without harming themselves or the animal. For instance, according to OneGreenPlanet some zoos use whips “to teach the animals to associate [negative] behaviors… with punishment” (Good). Moreover, the New York Times provides an example of free contact, explaining that “a keeper could motivate an elephant … with inhumane tools like food deprivation [and], prodding with bullocks or roped restraints” proving that there are still some zoos that use outdated practices of handling the animals (Klein).
These objectors don’t realize that although a few zoos still use negative strategies on their animals, most zoos care for their animals ...