HomeOP-EDShould Animals be in Captivity?

Should Animals be in Captivity?

Zoos and aquariums have been an active form of escapism for many years. Animals in captivity are viewed by humans as entertainment which, in my honest opinion, is wrong.

Many people enjoy going to zoos and aquariums doing their free time because animals are fascinating. I do believe the original intent of zoos and aquariums were never meant to harm the animals. Although they are animals, these practices of captivity are very inhumane and have been the leading causes of other issues.  

While in captivity, these animals have a high risk of torture, starvation, and other cruel treatment. To assure they’re well behaved around humans (which they’re usually very hesitant about), establishments have been accused of pressuring these animals into human interactions, which studies have said lead to a lot of stress and underlying anxiety.  

Animals such as dolphins and whales specifically have been used at establishments such as SeaWorld, where they are constantly learning new tricks and skills to perform at shows for this business to receive profit. According to whales.org after being in captivity, the death rates for these animals increase, they engage in repetitive behavior, and captivation has even caused some to turn on each other due to such frustration.  

In 2016, Harambe, the gorilla, who was held in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo for two years, was executed because he was frightened by a spectator and acted out. One could only imagine that if Harambe had not been taken from his natural habitat would that cruel act have even taken place. Organizations such as PETA protest the abuse of animals in hopes to reduce the amount of support the people who take part in these actions receive from society.  

Some beneficial alternatives to things such as zoos and aquariums, are safaris, and other establishments where spectators can view the animals in their natural habitats, while still giving them their personal space. Also, certain safari groups have a known history of using their profits to support local businesses, communities, and fundraisers that are aimed at providing safe havens for these animals that were once in captivity. As a society, there should be a unanimous effort to care for animals which have such an impact on our world. 

Jaimee McCullen
Jaimee McCullen
Jaimee McCullen is a Sophomore Mass Communications major from Natchez, Mississippi. She will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2023-2024 academic school year.

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