Animals are happier in zoos

8 August 2016

Animals are happier in zoos then in the wild. This truth about animals eludes the public, and consequently, has caused society to develop a negative attitude towards wild life in captivity. First, animals lack the freedom of time, space, and personal relations in the wild. Second, they crave routine, which can easily be provided in a captive environment with well-trained staff. Third, animals are very territorial. They will live with the mindset, “there is no place like home”, and thus, will ultimately love the habitat provided for them.

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The fog draped over people regarding animals living in zoos will be lifted through the analysis of these three examples. Many people have an image that wild animals are “happy, and “free”. However, contrary to popular belief, an animal in the wild leads a life of compulsion and necessity. In addition, they live in an environment where the supply of fear is high, the supply of food is low, and in a world where territory must constantly be defended. There is no meaningful freedom in this context, thus, animals in the wild are neither free in time, space, or personal relations.

Truthfully, animals are creatures of habit, and are obsessive in many ways. They get set in their ways, and despise anything out of their ordinary structured lives. In their natural environment, they stick to the same routine season after season. This is no different than an animal kept in captivity. For example, in a zoo, if an animal is not in its normal place, in its regular posture, at the usual hour, it means something. The reason for such an event could be something as simple as a puddle, left from a previous night of rain that interferes with the animal’s ability to be where it wants to be.

These routines and behaviors can easily be monitored and dealt with by zoo staff that knows exactly what they are doing. There are an exorbitant amount of people who also imagine that animals simply get up, leave their homes, and explore the wild, ignoring all social conventions and boundaries attributed to their species. However, this is an event less likely to occur than one where a person of sound mind, one day decided he was going to roam the earth alone, with nothing but the clothes on his back, and the spare change in his pocket.

Animals are very territorial. They become accustomed to their surroundings, and without a shadow of a doubt, truly believe, “there is no place like home”. For example, Leopards are capable of jumping 18ft in the air. Leopards kept at a zoo in Pondicherry India, lived contently, and happily in captivity with fences 16ft high. The key to creating this mind set in a zoo is to know the personalities of each species, and to understand how they operate within their natural habitat.

If this is done properly, animals will be satisfied, they will be able to relax, and we will all have the opportunity to sit back and have a look at one another. The reality about animals living in captivity is far from what society has been led to believe. The three examples above analyze first, that animals lack freedom in the wilderness. Second, that animals rely on routine. Last, animals are very territorial, concluding, that animals are happier in zoos then in the wild.

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