The controversy over whether wild animals should be maintained in aquariums, zoos, and other wildlife sanctuaries has lately resurfaced in the public spotlight.

Recent tragedies, such as the one at Sea World in Orlando, Florida, where a trainer was dragged to her death by a whale, have heightened public awareness about the needs of wildlife and how captivity harms their physical and mental health.

Some say that captive animals offer a variety of benefits to both the animal kingdom and humans. Others argue that the benefits are minor or that they may be obtained through other ways.

Indeed, when one studies the reasons in favor of keeping wild animals in confinement, such as at a zoo, one discovers that realistic options that are more humane in the treatment of wild animals might be disregarded. Keeping animals in zoos is, in effect, unjustifiable.

Zoos and Animal Sanctuaries

Zoos and animal sanctuaries are popular because they support a large tourism business across the world. Cities do not want to lose money by shutting down their zoos. Furthermore, they believe that zoos allow the public to observe species up close that they would not otherwise be able to witness.

Zoo authorities also stress that captive animals are well-cared for and kept in natural-like environments. However, while the zoological business goes to great lengths to give animals a natural environment simulation, it is a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

Normally, animals do not have access to greenery. Animals battle among themselves, while dirt and grass contain deadly pathogens. Furthermore, research shows zoos provide very minor educational advantages.

If their zoological settings allow it, animals tend to keep out of sight of people. In addition, zoo animals are deprived of their ability to move and socialize.

Another justification for zoos’ survival is that they are great locations for scientific monitoring stations. Zoos collaborate to collect and establish a serum bank collection, as well as develop medical record-keeping systems. This has shown to be incredibly useful in terms of detecting and tracking the spread of dangerous infectious illnesses.

Wild crows began to die in the United States for unknown reasons before the illness was identified. It was not until crows at a zoo started dying that the problem was discovered. Both animals and people are at risk from this virus.