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Zoos: Beneficial or Harmful Essay


Even though confinement of the wild animals causes some discomfort to the animals, it remains to be beneficial in the long run, especially in the wake of poaching. Zoos are the facilities from which wild animals are housed and portrayed to the public for various reasons such as tourism. Whether the zoos are beneficial to the animals or not can be debatable. This is crucial in the continuous recognition of the rights of the animals. Some feel that the animals were initially meant to stay freely in the wilderness and that confining them in the zoos amounts to depriving of their rights. Some think that the animals have feelings too just like humans and that restricting them to one area deprives them of the right to free movement. On the other hand, some people feel that the zoos are the only places that the wild animals can survive and be taken care of. The world faces an era of a high level of poaching that kills the wild animals at a very high rate (Woosley n.p). For this reason, the zoos have turned out to be the refuge for most of the animals, turning out to be safe grounds for their breeding. To effectively to determine zoos are more beneficial or harmful to the animals, the following analysis ought to be carried out.

First, the size of the zoo determines the level of benefits as well as harmfulness. The smaller the zoo space, the more stressing a situation is for the wild animals placed inside the zoo. For instance, the zoos in China are said to be bigger as compared to those in America for the Bears. For this reason, the China zoos act more of homes to the bears as opposed to the once ion the US. For this reason, the beneficial aspects take the aspect of the space provided for the animals. When an area is enough for the animals to move freely, they are useful as they protect the animals. On the other hand, they become harmful to the health of the animals when the space left is limited.

The world today faces a big threat from the high levels of poaching. Almost every continent faces this as a menace and thus strives to protect its wild animals from being killed by the poachers. As the animals have feelings, they sometimes feel insecure when some of their own are poached in their presence. For this reason, taking them and providing them with security acts as relieve for the presumed long day tension (Woosley n.p). Therefore, security to the animals is a significant benefit for the zoos. When the animals are left to move freely in the wilderness, they face dangers from both the people and rest of the animals. However, the risks are minimized when they are confined to the zoos.

The zoos also act as the breeding sites for the wild animals. In many occasions, the animals are left to breed in the forests and on their own. The world aims to have as many of the animals being born surviving as long as possible. This is only possible when the animals are retained in the zoos and thus checked upon from time to time. Having the animals in confinement allows the medical practitioners to take care of them all along with giving birth and even afterward. For instance, it happens naturally that the mother might die soon after giving birth to a young one. The probability would be that the young one dies in the wilderness. However, the zoo provides a chance for the reception of medical attention of the young one even if the mother dies soon after birth. In this case, the zoo turns out to be quite beneficial as opposed to being harmful.

The population around the world bulges and increases day by day. However, the size of the land is not growing in any way. People must, however, survive on the land that is in existence. This creates the high rate of wild animals to people conflicts. In many cases, the animals attack the people close to their natural habitats, and the people attack the animals as well. The high rate of conflict results in the loss of lives for the animals as well as the people. Thus, the benefits come in two aspects. First, zoos provide a suitable location for the animals (Woosley n.p). When the animals are kept in the aquarium, the chances of conflicting with the people are minimized to zero. For this reason, the animals are safe from any form of attacks and live longer. On the other hand, the zoos are beneficial to the people. As the animals are maintained in the aquarium, the chances of meeting them elsewhere are minimized. Thus, people are guaranteed of their safety in their day to day engagements.

The zoos are also beneficial to the people in the ability to create awareness on the need to protect the endangered species. Many of the people appear to be ignorant of the possibility of having the endangered species getting rid of soon. However, a visit to the zoo acts as an awareness creation that enables the safety of the animals to win the support of many people. Ignorance about the endangered species contributes to the high rate of poaching among the people. However, people get an insight of the possible consequences if the right procedures are not taken to protect the animals. Information benefits the people in that they can come up with the best strategies to protect the remaining animals from being poached for money (Lin n.p). The awareness created assures the animals of more safety in future. Protection is enhanced through the combined efforts of the authorities as well as the public.

Also, having the animals in the zoo is beneficial to them as they are well catered for and provided with food. This is the opposite of what happens in the wilderness as the animals have the role of looking for their food, which may not be possible on everyday occasion. The confinements of the zoo allow the opportunity to feed the animals one by one and thus save them from potential deaths, especially during the unfavorable weather conditions. For instance, the food chain is real in the wilderness and therefore takes effect throughout. During the dry seasons, the grass dries out, rendering the herbivores to run out of food supplies as well as water. As the herbivores die out, the carnivores get less source of food and start dying as well (Hulbert et al, 156). Zoos act as food security for the animals as they are fed at all times irrespective of the weather conditions. This is a crucial benefit to the survival of the animals.

Zoos are safer places for the public to visit as opposed to the open wilderness. Many of the animals in the forests are not tamed and immediately turn against the people when they see them around. For this reason, the forests are unsafe for the people as well as the animals. Zoos come in and provide a safe environment in which the people can visit and have a close look at the animals. The experience is thus more educating the visitors. Most importantly, it creates awareness of the need to preserve the animals and protect them from getting extinct.

Medical attention is also made possible in the zoos. The zoos bring the animals close to the supervision of the human beings. The animals move in the narrow range of the people entrusted with their welfare. For this reason, animals get the chance to be medically attended, either when they fall sick or even when attempting to prevent them from diseases. For this reason, the lifespan in the zoo is attained better than in the cases of the wilderness where medical attention is made almost impossible.

The wilderness presents many natural barriers to the still living of the animals. For instance, many of the animals left in the open suffer from the changes in the weather conditions from time to time. In this regard, many of the animals die in the wilderness at a rate considered to be quite high (Woosley n.p). The zoo, on the other hand, presents a controlled living environment for the animals contained therein. Therefore, the animals are protected from natural barriers to survival such as excessive rainfall, snowball falls, and other natural calamities.

However, situations are indicating that zoos result in harm, especially to the animals confined in them. First, the natural way of life of the animals is affected. The rights of the animals are taken away from them as they live as the people require of them. The animals are denied the right to make the decisions of the location to be at a particular time and the things to do. As such, zoos amount to the depriving of the rights of the animals in leading a natural life just as the human beings.

Also, the animals are family beings just as the human beings. Zoo, however, keeps the animals in separation (Victoria n.p). When an animal is captured from the field, it is separated from the rest of the family members. This tortures the animals psychological which in turn affects its mental health. This is an idea that seems to be entirely selfish on the people as they consider their satisfaction more than that of the animals.

The animals have feelings just as the people do. Animals, therefore, ought to have some freedom to live their natural way of life. However, the confinement of the animals in the zoos creates a situation of loneliness for the animals. This results in the deterioration of the medical health which in turn reduces the lifespan of the animals.

Many of the zoos across the world provide limited spaces for the movement of the animals. As such, the life of the animals remains confined to the small premises they are placed on the first day. This creates a dull environment for the animals as many of them are naturally meant to roam around in search of food.

Some of the zoos also present physical torture to the animals. Across the world, reports exist of animals’ physical torture for supposedly doing the wrong thing. This amounts to the breaking of the rights of animals as they should be free from any physical assault from the people entrusted with their care (Norton n.p). Physical attacks create more psychological torture that amounts to the deterioration of their health.


Zoos remain to be beneficial even with the various disadvantages identified. In comparison, the benefits of zoos seem to be more and have more weight as compared to the demerits. However, both aspects are important when deciding to place animals in the zoo. The various weaknesses identified in the zoos such as the small spaces ought to be rectified to improve the life of the animals. Also, there is need to confine the animals in families to reduce the psychological problems faced by the animals due to loneliness.

Works cited

Woosley, Nathan. “Zoos: Confinement or Conservation?” Voices for Biodiversity. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2018. <>.

Norton, Bryan G. Ethics on the Ark: Zoos, Animal Welfare, and Wildlife Conservation. Washington: Smithsonian Inst., 2010. Web.

Lin, Doris. “Do Zoos Still Have a Place in the World?” ThoughtCo. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2018. <>.

Hulbert, Alexander J., Kerry A. Hunt, and Paul E. Rose. “A multi‐zoo investigation of nutrient provision for captive red‐crested turacos.” Zoo biology 36.2 (2017): 152-160.

“Five Facts about Good Zoos.” Zoos Victoria. N.p., 1 Oct. 2015. Web. 09 Feb. 2018.



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