- Should we free all the animals and close all the zoos? Gosh I hope it doesn’t come to that.
There are a lot of animals on the endangered species list being breed in captivity in some of those zoos. What would happen to them? Funding from attendance pays the way for that conservation. It’s millions and millions of dollars each year.
Look at San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park in Southern California. It supposedly houses the worlds largest veterinary hospital and their Institute for Conservation Research has frozen animal eggs and sperm – to help save and preserve species from extinction. They also conduct an active breeding program.
If you had asked, “should we try to make our zoos more humane by expanding territory and space for all of the animals?” I’d definitely say yes to that.
How could we do that since most zoos are already confined by physical boundaries? Some have been on their current locations for a long time.
I’d start by slowly reducing the number of animals at that zoo. As a visitor you’d see fewer animals, but I suspect the ones you would see would be healthier and less stressed.
Another alternative is used by colleges to increase campus size is to acquire neighboring property. USC does that here.
When property around the border of the school goes up for sale, the school buys it, removes the structure upon it, and the perimeter of the campus moves outward. A zoo might be able to do a similar expansion project over time. Money for expansion comes from admission paid by visitors or from charitable grants from philanthropic people.
What would I do with the animals? Where possible I’d sell them to wild life parks and conservancies with much larger space. Then I’d use the space formerly allotted to that animal we resettled for other remaining animals and increase their habitat as much as possible.
Redesigning zoos to be humane and compliant with today’s knowledge and understanding of species should benefit the animal as well as instill in zoo visitors a better respect for the animal and our world.
Knowledge gained allows us to realize just how big a footprint we sometimes create, and become aware of how we might reduce it.
What about the capture and placement of future animals. Should they be taken from their native habitat and incarcerated in a zoo.
A very tough question. Personally, I favor wild animal parks to zoos, with room for animals to move more freely. Safari Park mentioned above has 1800 acres.- not enormous- but big.
Animals on display in such parks are removed from danger from natural predators, and poachers, and properly fed and cared for, BUT they are captive and not free in their own native environment.
There are trade-offs and I am not the one to determine that outcome- but you are.
Children and adults exposed to animals from other geographical locations become inspired and educated.
That education can make us more knowledgable and more aware of species, habitats, people, customs, and countries beyond our own.