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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 4 February 2003 Issue


Should We Go To The Zoo?

Dear Jill,

I have been a person who always enjoyed going to the zoo. I know Animals Rights people think zoos are bad. I see all the animals have food and shelter. They have no worries. What is so bad about that??


Dear Carol,

Zoos are animal prisons, where the inmates are serving life terms with no chance of parole.

Animals in zoos are confined to small, cramped areas far from their natural homes. They lack privacy, have too little mental stimulation and physical exercise and are lonely. The results of such confinement, boredom and loneliness is abnormal and self-destructive behavior, called zoochosis.

"A worldwide study of zoos conducted by the Born Free Foundation revealed that zoochosis is rampant in confined animals around the globe.(4) Another study found that elephants spend 22 percent of their time engaging in abnormal behaviors, such as repeated head bobbing or biting cage bars, and bears spend about 30 percent of their time pacing, a sign of distress.(5)

One sanctuary that is home to rescued zoo animals reports seeing frequent signs of zoochosis in animals brought to the sanctuary from zoos. Of chimpanzees, who bite their own limbs from captivity-induced stress, the manager says: "Their hands were unrecognizable from all the scar tissue."

More than half the world's zoos "are still in bad conditions" and treating chimpanzees poorly, according to renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall.(6) "

PETA :: Media Center :: Factsheets  

The Humane Society of the United States "strongly believes that under most circumstances wild animals should be permitted to exist undisturbed in their natural environments."

Last Chance For Animals states "Animals in zoos are forced to live in artificial, stressful, and downright boring conditions. Removed from their natural habitats and social structures, they are confined to small, restrictive environments that deprive them of mental and physical stimulation. While zoos claim to provide conservation, education, and entertainment, their primary goal is to sustain public support in order to increase profits."  

Love and paw pats,
Jillouise Breslauer
Companion Animal Behavior Consultant
What Jill Knows, Copyright 2002
e-mail: [email protected]  

Return to Animals in Print 4 Feb 2003 Issue

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