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Comments by Jenny Moxham - 25 May 2010

In Reference to: Today, Orange Monkeys - Tomorrow?

Dear Sally,

Unfortunately most of the messages that the public pick up from a visit to a zoo are bad messages such as- keeping animals in captivity is fun, stereotypical pacing is normal and amusing, etc. They rarely learn to empathise with the animals and come to realise that the animals' suffering is as important as their own.

The bigger the animal the more difficult it is for a zoo to provide satisfactory accommodation. For example, no zoos are large enough to house large mammals such as elephants, whales, polar bears, jaguars, etc.

Rarely do zoos have any genuine conservation value. For most zoos, conservation ideas are a gimmick they use to increase profits. There is seldom any real hope of the animals being returned to live a normal life in the wild. I'm sure that if you were in the animals position you would prefer to become extinct rather than be condemned to a life of imprisonment and have your babies suffer the same fate - living under the control of keepers.

Vast amounts of money and brainpower have been poured into trying to breed animals in captivity. This money and brainpower should be put into conservation of habitat where the animals, if left undisturbed, will continue to breed in the way they have done throughout the millennia.

Yours sincerely,