By definition, a zoo is a facility in which animals are kept and displayed to the public. It is a short form of Menagerie, zoological park and garden. The word zoological refers to zoology which means study of animals. An Egyptian queen called Queen Hatshepsut decided to build a zoo about 1500BC and about five hundred years later a Chinese Emperor named Wen Wang founded the Garden of Intelligence. The Garden of Intelligence was an enormous zoo which was full of different kind of animals and lots of ancient statues. During that time many small zoos were established to show power and wealth by rulers from Northern Africa, India, and China. Other well-known collectors of animals were King Solomon of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah, and King Nebuchadnezzar from Babylonia. The Roman emperors used to keep private collections of animals or private zoos for study purposes or for use in an arena. The ancient Greeks established public zoos to study animal and plant life. That time Greek students used to visit zoos as part of their education. In the beginning Europeans did not have the interest to visit the zoos but when explorers bought strange creatures back with them, it strangely renewed the interest of Europeans in animals and zoos. In the modern era the oldest existing zoo was the Vienna Zoo in Austria. Tierpark Hagenbeck is known as the first zoo to use open enclosures surrounded by moats rather than barred cages. The purpose was to keep the animals in touch with nature. My uncle was a zookeeper for over eight years. A lot of times wild animals get injured and If proper care is not given they might have to live a disabled life. For instance, owls have very fragile bones in their wings. If it breaks it creates permanent disorder in its flight. For a flightless owl in the wild life it will be difficult to defend itself easily; it might not survive. “They pay the price of their beauty, poor beasts. Mankind wants to catch anything beautiful and shut it up, and then come in thousands to watch it die by inches’’ (qtd. in Best 4). There are some people who take a baby animal from the jungle to keep it as a pet. Once the animal grew up it does not look cute anymore, and may become uncontrollable. Therefore, the person takes it to a zoo to live out the rest of its life. Thus, they start to lose some of their natural abilities because zoo do not provide natural environment for wild animals. It may be difficult for an animal to adjust to a different environment if necessary steps are not taken.
Animals are being kept in the zoos has provided people such as children or city dwellers to experience the great biodiversity of the Earth and understand how they behave. These realistic images of the wildlife are nothing like what we could see in discovery channels or books making the zoo a great source of education. It is also true that zoo not only just exposes different creatures to us, but also informs the visitors on each species of animals such as their scientific names, their specialties, what food they eat and their behaviours. Moreover, zoos nowadays are involved in conservation programs of animals that are in the risk of extinction and thus at the same time making visitors aware of them. However, people these days are more interested in the entertainment because many would come to the zoo for picnics (Kazarov 8). Whenever I visit a zoo I see children who are more interested in observing the creatures up closely, ignoring the information board provided for that animal. As for the parents, they are more concerned about taking photos of their children next to the pitiful animal. Even if there really are people visiting to seek the knowledge, do you think that the benefits we gain are worth the suffering of thousands of animals of hundreds or species? Furthermore, in the zoos, we cannot learn as much as a hunter do because we do not see what the animals do naturally, but the unfortunate things done to...
Cited: “Animal Ark or Sinking Ship?”. Born Free Foundation. July 2007. Web. http://www.bornfree.org.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/files/zoo_check/animal_ark.pdf. Nov 24 2012.
Clubb, Ros. Mason, Georgia. A Review of the Welfare of Zoo Elephants in Europe. University of Oxford. 2003. Print.
Dr. Best, Steven. “Zoo and the End of Nature”. University of Texas. 1999. Web. http://www.zoocheck.com/articlepdfs/Zoos%20and%20the%20End%20of%20Nature.pdf. Nov 22 2012.
Kazarov, Elena. “The Role of Zoo in creating a Conservation Ethic in Visitors”. Australia, Sydney Washington University in St. Louis. 2008. Web. http://digitalcollections.sit.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1579&context=isp_collection. Nov 24 2012.
Laidlaw, Rob. “Reintroduction of captive-bred animals to the wild: Is the modern ark afloat?”.
The Alpha Press. 2001. Web. http://www.zoocheck.com/articlepdfs/Reintroduction%20of%20Captive-bred%20Animals.pdf. Nov 29 2012.
“Tigers and Public in Danger at Roadside Zoo.” The Human Society of United States. Youtube. May-16 2012. Web. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnNZleOMNWM. Nov 29 2012.
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