5 reasons your source is wrong (Coming from a past zookeeper and a vegan)
1) Only some zoo’s don’t provide enough space. The zoo I worked with provided plenty of space for animals. Acres upon acres for herd animals, for example. Any animal that could not be kept happy with their amount of space was not kept at our zoo (aka, our zoo’s didn’t keep elephants)
2) Again, only some zoo’s cause stress to animals. None of the animals at our zoo have ever been seen participating in rocking, head bobbing, etc. Pacing, on the other-hand, can be a completely normal behavior that doesn’t indicate stress. Our wolverines, for example, would pace back in forth in excitement when we are bringing treats or toys.
3) Our animals were never killed for being surpluses! I don’t know any zoo that does kill surplus animals! Any animals that cannot be provided adequate care a specific zoo will be sent to live at another zoo that can provide adequate care. Generally speaking zoo’s don’t breed animals unless they are in a breeding program (being an endangered species and all).
4) The only animals at our zoo that were captured from the wild were orphans. We have 3 black bear orphans that would have died if we didn’t take them in. Our sea turtles and bald eagle were rescues as well. And no, they cannot be returned to the wild. Our bald eagle cannot fly, our sea turtles cannot function without our help, and our black bears don’t know how to survive in the widl.
5) Don’t serve an education or conservation purpose! You have got to be kidding me! Do you have any idea how many programs we have at our zoo dedicated to conservation? We have programs set out to reduce overfishing, to recycle electronics, to save moose. we also send zookeepers to help with conservation overseas and teach children about how it’s important to respect animals and care for our planet. Our day camps teach children all about animals and what they can do to protect their planet. That is not to include all the orphaned animals we took in. Do you realize that our pond is full of an endangered species of swan? And yes, they choose to live there. They are not forced to. They can fly away at any moment.
Don’t get me wrong. There are zoo’s out there that aren’t capable of properly caring for animals. But there are plenty of zoo’s that do care for animals and do so extremely well.
This is the issue I have with PETA. Good intentions they have generally, but they take them to extremes, no middle ground. This thread is a good example. It assumes that all zoos are lousy zoos and should be boycotted without exception. Really a rather damaging way to come at it, to view matters of animal rights in such a black and white view.
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All animal emergencies (injured, stray, neglected, abused, etc) should be reported to our Emergency Response Team, not posted on the Boards.