As we mentioned before, most people agree that it is important to conserve endangered species, but some argue that putting up more fences and protecting bigger chunks of habitat are not the best ways to do this.
Zoo-goers may feel overwhelmed by all of the pictures and stories of animals in captivity. Some may even be uncomfortable supporting organizations that house and breed animals for entertainment.
However, there are many reasons why keeping wildlife in zoos is an excellent idea!
In fact, studying behaviors of wild animals in natural environments can teach us a lot about our own evolution as organisms. This applies both biologically (understanding how humans evolved) and socially (for example, learning what makes a good leader).
Furthermore, studies show that visiting zoos as a child correlates with higher empathy and respect for other living things later in life. These qualities help promote environmental conservation and care for the planet.
This article will talk you through the top benefits of zoo visits, and perhaps convince you that leaving the house today is a worthy adventure.
There are many different types of zoos
Many people feel that visiting a zoo is only educational if it teaches you about animals or nature, but this isn’t always the case. Some zoos have an education component, but what they teach is often not scientifically accurate.
Zoologists don’t work for free, after all! So why pay to go learn about wildlife when the information you get may be wrong?
It can cost up to $100 per visit to attend an animal show, tour a habitat, or take a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo. This is expensive even if you’re spending the money on learning, so most individuals don’t offer this as an option.
Some tourists choose to instead spend their time looking at and talking about the exhibits rather than studying the animals in them, which is also problematic because there might not be enough space to do both effectively.
This article will talk more in depth about some reasons why going into a zoo for its education value is questionable, and some ways to help alleviate these issues.
They can be very expensive to run
As we have seen, many people feel that visiting a zoo is a waste of money because you get such beautiful scenery anywhere outside or online. This assumption is totally false!
Zoo visits are an incredible way to spend your hard-earned money. Not only do they give you beauty exposure, but also education about other animals and the environment.
Many charities exist to help save endangered species by donating revenue from their exhibits to conservation projects. There’s even been a trend of creating fake zoos as ways to raise awareness about our dwindling natural resources.
Some people complain about the conditions
Many people argue that spending money to visit a zoo shows how poor or lacking in resources someone is. This argument seems particularly strong when it comes to animal captivity, as many claim that paying to see monkeys, elephants, and other animals is supporting cruel behavior.
However, this criticism of zoos is very narrow. It ignores the important contribution that research institutions make towards scientific knowledge and understanding.
Zoos are not only valuable sources of income, but they also play an integral part in our global efforts to understand the natural world. For example, by studying the behaviors of different species, zoologists learn more about what makes other creatures happy and uncomfortable. They then use this information to help conserve endangered wildlife.
Furthermore, some scientists believe that keeping certain types of animals in captivity can be a good way to study their physiology and psychology.
While these studies are controversial, most agree that living with other animals forces you to respect them as individuals who have birth-and-death relationships like ours do. This helps develop empathy, which has been linked to better social relations within your own community and beyond.
This article will talk more about why putting up paywalls at museums is a bad idea, and why charging for online content is equally misguided.
Some zoos show captive breeding
Captive breeding is when an animal of any species in captivity produces offspring with members of their own kind or other animals of its species. This is different from natural mating, where reproducing happens spontaneously without human intervention.
Zoo staff usually refer to this as introducing diversity into your zoo population. It can also be important in protecting endangered species by producing more young ones. For example, after the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015, several wildlife rescue centers had limited space so they collaborated to invite a group of rats from another colony to breed.
These baby rats would have grown up in a destroyed habitat with little food, making them vulnerable to disease. The adult rats raised these babies at the new colony, which protected them from potential dangers.
This type of interspecies breeding is not always successful though. Sometimes the two parents just do not want to mate or cannot reproduce properly due to stressors related to living together. Also, some pairs simply do not like each other enough to try!
However, there are some instances where captive breeding does make sense. A good example is when a couple of purebred animals need to meet to pass on genetics. Puppy mills are harmful because people may choose to buy a dog from someone who breeds puppies exclusively for money instead of spending time with the dogs and helping them learn socialization skills. By having a mixed-breed dog, you end up changing his genetic makeup, preventing future puppy mill situations.