My opinion is shaky. As a kid Im sure most can relate as to how fun it was. Running around, getting freaked out by reptiles. Even the sad attempt to feed the monkey right next to you. Back then I didn’t know better.
However, now that I am aware of their limited life, I feel zoos should be closed. Yet what about the rest of the little kids? Don’t they too get to see what we saw? Just how fair is it to keep beautiful animals locked up?
As a kid, before I understood the cruelty of zoos, (we went to a decent one, so it took a while) I loved seeing animals that I had never seen before. I still believe that (some) captive breeding programs are important, but I no longer agree with zoos, but, in this technological age, there are many 24 hour cams in sanctuaries, and online tracking in the wild. Maybe it’s not the same for small children, but it makes a whole lot of difference to the animals too.
Most animals in zoos are not endangered, and while confining animals to zoos keeps them alive, it does nothing to protect wild populations and their habitats. Returning captive-bred animals to the wild is, in most cases, impossible because animals who are reared in zoos are denied the opportunity to learn survival skills, can transmit diseases to their wild counterparts, and often have no natural habitat left to return to. Warehousing animals for life is not the way to save them from extinction.
You can help animals by supporting organizations that work to protect captive animals from exploitation and preserve habitats.