EDITORIAL: Animal Survival Should Be Prioritized Over Entertainment

Zoos have been around for over 3,000 years and the oldest still existing zoo in Vienna that has been around since 1752. Zoos have been known to be a center point of entertainment for society, especially in America, for decades, especially among families with younger kids. 


Zoos are not needed anymore to protect animals. Zoos are not choosing to prioritize the safety of the animals, the health of the animals (both physical and psychological), and they’re not focused enough on the animals’ life in the wild and how to help them as well.


Many people want to keep zoos, because it has been proven that zoos can slowly increase the amount of an endangered species by saving and breeding them, ultimately saving the species. However, whenever the animals get released back into the wild they end up dying, because they’re so used to captivity that they can’t endure the hardships of the wild anymore. They have less natural instincts and no parents to teach them what to do. Also, the captivity is psychologically damaging to the animals as well. Animals end up performing actions that never would be done in the wild, including nervous ticks such as pacing, self-mutilation, and twitching. 


The only reward of keeping zoos is to continue increasing the animal population through breeding, but there are animal reservations that are made specifically for keeping the animals safe on a large amount of land in the wild. They aren’t fed anything except what they naturally eat, and they’re safe to live their lives and naturally save their population. These wildlife preservations have been known to be more rewarding to the come-back of a species, all the while keeping the animals’ psych in check and keeping the natural instincts of the animals as well.


Zoos do more harm than good, and the only benefit of it is entertainment for society. If people really want to go see animals in real life rather than watching national geographic, they can visit a wildlife reservation.


If people want to observe local wildlife, they should stop funding zoos and visit sanctuaries instead. It is time to save the animals and prevent them from extinction and endangerment, and focus instead animal reservations that provide the animal with an actual “uncaged” life, but still protects them from the rest of the world out there, rather than using the cages in zoos that should horrify us rather than amuse us.