To keep or not to keep animals in a zoo is a question which is hotly debated by both zoo-keepers and animal rights activists. Arguments both for and against the issue are presented by the respective sides to strengthen their case. Here, we look at the points which are put forward by the respective side.
As in the case of humans, animals too are entitled to certain rights as per the contention of animal rights activists. Animals deserve the respect due to them, they have the right to move in the open under natural habitat conditions and in a zoo they are forced to be close to human species which is unnatural for them. Further, animal welfare officials feel that from the welfare point of view, it is wrong to keep animals in a zoo if it has a less than pleasant life when compared to a life outside the zoo (Bbc.co.uk, 2014).
On the flip side, zoo keepers contend that their efforts are directed towards bringing humans and animals in close proximity. This is done so that people can appreciate animals which they otherwise might not have been able to see. It also helps to educate and motivate people to treat animals better. Zoo authorities maintain that by keeping certain endangered species in the zoo they are actually protecting it from becoming extinct and in specialized breeding programs for these kind of species help them to multiply and keep their identity intact. In fact good zoos provide the perfect habitat for animals and are well cared for (Lin, 2014).
Based on the above, it can be stated that both sides have enough fire-power to make a case for themselves.