Are zoos a good thing?

Hands reaching out to touch an elephant's trunk

How do you feel about keeping animals in zoos? Read both sides of the argument to help you decide.


Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the text and do the other exercises.


Are zoos a good thing?

Zoos are hugely popular attractions for adults and children alike. But are they actually a good thing?

Critics of zoos would argue that animals often suffer physically and mentally by being enclosed. Even the best artificial environments can't come close to matching the space, diversity, and freedom that animals have in their natural habitats. This deprivation causes many zoo animals to become stressed or mentally ill. Capturing animals in the wild also causes much suffering by splitting up families. Some zoos make animals behave unnaturally: for example, marine parks often force dolphins and whales to perform tricks. These mammals may die decades earlier than their wild relatives, and some even try to commit suicide.

On the other hand, by bringing people and animals together, zoos have the potential to educate the public about conservation issues and inspire people to protect animals and their habitats. Some zoos provide a safe environment for animals which have been mistreated in circuses, or pets which have been abandoned. Zoos also carry out important research into subjects like animal behaviour and how to treat illnesses.

One of the most important modern functions of zoos is supporting international breeding programmes, particularly for endangered species. In the wild, some of the rarest species have difficulty in finding mates and breeding, and they might also be threatened by poachers, loss of their habitat and predators. A good zoo will enable these species to live and breed in a secure environment. In addition, as numbers of some wild species drop, there is an increased danger of populations becoming too genetically similar. Breeding programmes provide a safeguard: zoo-bred animals can be released into the wild to increase genetic diversity.

However, opponents of zoos say that the vast majority of captive breeding programmes do not release animals back into the wild. Surplus animals are sold not only to other zoos but also to circuses or hunting ranches in the US or South Africa, where some people are willing to pay a lot of money for the chance to kill an animal in a fenced enclosure. Often, these animals are familiar with humans and have very little chance of escaping.

So, are zoos good for animals or not? Perhaps it all depends on how well individual zoos are managed, and the benefits of zoos can surely outweigh their harmful effects. However, it is understandable that many people believe imprisoning animals for any reason is simply wrong.


What do you think about zoos? Are they a good thing, or is it cruel to keep animals in captivity?

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Submitted by josejosesito123 on Sat, 11/30/2019 - 15:08

I think the zoos are at the same time good things and bad things.

Submitted by nguyenthao0808 on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 09:42

In the nature, Many animals live together. There are some animals that can have freedom and enjoy the nature, But some of them are not. For example, A giraffe that has long neck can eat leaves and be full, But a giraffe that has short neck can't eat foods and can't survive. There are many situations like this in nature. These animals like giraffes that I told you before need our help, And zoos are helping help them. So I think zoos are good for animals.

Submitted by nidia on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 13:46

On the other hand, there are some zoos that treat well the animals they care for and give them good care, those are the ones that have values and give a good service to the care of the animals, which is why they are considered a society that protects animals.

Submitted by nidia on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 13:00

I think that the creation of zoo was a bad idea, because it is to lock animals away from their natural habitat, stresses them and causes them discomfort, so the only one who benefits is the one who manages the business, from the suffering of the animals.

Submitted by nidia on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 12:42

I consider the article very good, because it does not talk about the care of animals .It describes it in a very detiled way and about the care given to animals endangered .In this way he gives us to undestand his point of view and the reflection that he presents.

Submitted by Ales144 on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 02:02

I think that zoos have good things and bad things but the importance of those type of model is in the responsibility because of one-way zoos helps animals and gave a better lifestyle, but when the zoo is irresponsible is very bad for the animals and we have to save them, so I think that the most important to have a zoo is the conscience of those lives and be empathetic with all around us.

Submitted by adsfgfhgjkhjl on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 14:13

yes, I agree with you, in these cases, the zoos has to very responsable with his animals.

In reply to by Ales144

Submitted by afroza on Wed, 04/17/2019 - 16:27

In zoos we sometimes see that animals often suffer physically and mentally by being enclosed.This thing leads many wild animales to become stressed kr depressed.sometimes mammals may die earlier than their wild relatives by being harmfully or forcefully trained nd some animals even try to commit suicide.Bt on the other hand,by bringing them Together zoos saves many animals from hunters nd from being extinct.It also inspires people to become aware if wild animals,protect them and of course their importance in our society.Most importantly zoos help in breeding programmes.A good zoo will enable these rare species to live and breed in a secure place.So 'ARE ZOOS GOOD FOR ANIMAL' depends on how will individual zoos are managed nd obviously by using zoos properly we can bring a lot of good for our environment nd for the animals..

Submitted by Kiddo on Wed, 04/10/2019 - 19:46

Animals need freedom.We don't want them to extinct.

Submitted by BatarravacMisil on Wed, 03/13/2019 - 18:26

I think that the current zoos we have are not particulary a good place for wild animals. In fact, it just turn them crazy. The reasons exposed in the text are just acceptable if you give to the animals an habitat just like they have in the wild. Some place like the natural habit is a good option to make them breed and protect the endangered especies from the hunters. To put them in a jail is far to be the best choice to protect animals.

Submitted by Mihael on Thu, 02/28/2019 - 14:19

Good if they treat the animal better and provide a large park for them
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Submitted by Youjiro on Thu, 02/07/2019 - 08:02

I thing zoo is good for us.wild animal especially endangered species are on the discussion.In fact Tigger is most expensive animal in zoo.Tigger is attract people that want to see wild animal. Nowaday tigger is protected by organization that keep wild life. advantage of zoo is attract us safely on the zoo. I went to zoo to see animal.I really enjoyed animal such as monkey,rino,tigger. Tigger is most popular animal in the zoo.I thought zoo is good for us to enjoy holiday .disadvantage is that animal in the zoo is not live in wild life .Animal used to feed from zoo staff.I won't get meat in wild life and they won't protect from predator. To sum up ,zoo is good for us but it need control to get animal from wild life.
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Submitted by MrAuStRiAnMaN23 on Mon, 04/01/2019 - 09:34

Tigers and other animals do get meat in wildlife (but only the carnivores) for example Tigers and other carnivores hunt their prey and eat them. Kind Regards!

In reply to by Youjiro

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Submitted by luki0910 on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 08:00

i think zoo is good place to have fun

Submitted by Erandi7 on Thu, 10/29/2020 - 01:41

I think that the zoo's are extremely cruel because the people entertain themselves cause of suffering of animals. Those animals shouldn't be in these places, They must be frees in their natural habitat

In reply to by luki0910

Submitted by parsasoroori on Tue, 01/01/2019 - 22:40

Maybe we should inspire more people to find more opponents to close the zoos. It's not a good idea to jail animals for any reason. They like freedom as well.
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Submitted by bilko on Sun, 06/24/2018 - 12:41

in my opinion, keeping animals in the zoos is not good. I believe, every creature should live with their natural habitat like humans.

Submitted by DeathlyHallows03 on Tue, 07/24/2018 - 10:09

I agree with you. Imagine that you're an animal that is always in the same place and without freedom. It is torture.

In reply to by bilko

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Submitted by Alluha on Sun, 01/28/2018 - 12:28

I think it's not a good idea most of times

Submitted by 2GAMR98 on Wed, 01/03/2018 - 03:48

I personally believe that zoos should be used only for endangered species or species with high risks of other predators in the wild, besides that these animal centers should be strictly controlled otherwise they are closed.
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