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  • I love going to the zoo, you get to see monkeys, and lions and tigers and bears oh my!

  • But are they really such a great thing?

  • Hey animal lovers, Julia here for DNews

  • I've loved zoos my whole life.

  • There was one I remember that made me wanna want to share how awesome animals are!

  • Fast forward a few years and well here I am.

  • Making videos about science and animals on the internet.

  • But now, I'm older, wiser and really ambivalent about zoos.

  • Zoos have changed a lot since their conception.

  • Environments used to be basic, easy to build and didn't provide animals with the opportunity

  • to interact with their surroundings, which was detrimental to their health.

  • Think of classic zoos, animals in a small cage with nothing but concrete and bars.

  • Zoos today have changed this practice into providingenriched environmentswhich

  • include increasing space, adding natural sound, and introducing

  • elements of their natural environments.

  • But most of the time changing the cage in which an animal is held isn't enough since

  • what the animal may find stressful is hard to assess.

  • When these stresses go unnoticed the results can be really bad.

  • For example the most recent loss was an entire stingray population at the Chicago Zoo because

  • of low oxygen levels in their tanks.

  • In this case it was a malfunction of the habitatslife support systemthat caused the

  • death of four southern stingrays and 50 cownose rays.

  • This is the second incident that has taken place at the Chicago Zoo,

  • in 2008 they lost 19 stingrays to a heating malfunction

  • and they have decided to close the exhibit for good.

  • Light and sound also have negative effects on animals held in captivity.

  • According to a study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science noise levels measured

  • in two Northern California zoos had sounds ranging from 62 to 72 decibels compared to

  • the noise levels of a rainforest, which can average about 27 db.

  • Light levels are also higher than they're supposed to be, maintaining a low light situation

  • keeps animals less aggressive but if you don't have any lighting

  • how are you supposed to see the animals?

  • When it comes to feeding, nothing seems easier than to have your food delivered and served

  • but when it comes to lions and other carnivorous animals getting served zoo slop

  • can actually put them in danger.

  • Researchers at the San Diego Zoo studied cheetahs and their eating habits while in captivity.

  • They gave one group the regular zoo cuisine of ground horse meat with a mix of vitamins

  • and minerals but gave a second group thawed bovine fetus or half of a large carcass.

  • They noticed the group eating the carcasses took more time chewing

  • and smelling their food than the first group.

  • Pretty much they acted as they would normally in the wild, besides the whole hunting part.

  • Researchers discovered that processed foods lack a “hassle factorwhich cheetahs

  • need to dull down their molars and is critical for good dental hygiene.

  • The treatment of elephants are at the forefront of the debate against zoos.

  • Elephants are used to living in huge matriarchal families and are innately social creatures,

  • but by being held in captivity with only one other elephant, that they may not

  • even be compatible with, causes stress and shortens their lifespan.

  • Elephants in captivity only live half as long as those who live in natural wildlife preserves.

  • African elephants can expect to live to 36 years old in Kenya's Amboseli National Park

  • compared to zoo elephants who live to be about 17 years old.

  • Although some accredited zoos, like the Bronx Zoo and the San Diego zoo

  • are able to extend the lives of their elephants, the San Diego boasts

  • some of their elephants live to be 40 years old.

  • But not all zoos have the money to keep their parks running.

  • Most zoos struggle with financing all of the needs of their animals, employees

  • and maintenance of their parks.

  • Some zoos apply for accreditation through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums but

  • only 10% of the 2,800 zoos in the U.S. actually get it this also distinguishes zoos fromroadside

  • zooswhich are known for animal endangerment and mismanagement.

  • In order to be part of AZA each zoo must go through a process where experts examine the

  • zoos to make sure they are up to code and have employees who are qualified

  • to work in those environments.

  • Accreditation matters because it makes these zoos eligible for grants, able to breed and

  • loan animals with other zoos and hire the best workers in the business.

  • But before you go rally and protest your nearest zoo, it's not all bad news bears.

  • I cannot overstate the great educational value of zoos.

  • Zoos are a great place to learn about animals for young and old alike.

  • It's a place to literally come face to face with some of the rarest animals in the world.

  • Zoos introduce people to what the animal populations are like around the world

  • and educate people about conservation efforts.

  • Visiting a zoo might even get you to donate to these efforts.

  • Meeting a Mountain Gorilla in person might make you want to save this endangered animal.

  • And zoos want to save endangered species too.

  • Dozens of zoos in North America actively participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

  • Species Survival Plan Program (SSP), which concentrates on finding dwindling populations,

  • bring them into captivity and growing them until they are ready

  • to be released into their natural habitat.

  • SSP related programs have bolstered populations such as black-footed ferrets,

  • California condors and red wolves.

  • Zoos also provide health care and services to animals who need it.

  • Many animals held in captivity were found in the wild wounded or stranded.

  • Zoos give these animals a second chance at life, one they wouldn't of gotten

  • had they been left in the wild.

  • When it comes to pros vs cons, as long as they are well managed and accredited and they

  • work on creating more natural habitats for their animals, zoos bring people closer to

  • nature and might help save some of the most imperiled species on the planet.

  • What do you think?

  • How do you feel about zoos?

  • Do you have a favorite zoo?

  • Tell us some of your recent zoo experiences down in the comments below.

I love going to the zoo, you get to see monkeys, and lions and tigers and bears oh my!

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動物園の長所と短所 (The Pros & Cons Of Zoos)

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    詹士緯 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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