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In it to educate & save or just for the money?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by adrian1963, 16 Dec 2014.

  1. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    With zoological collections claiming to be open for the development and saving of species around the world then why have so many species gone extinct in the last 100 years.
    Are zoological collections really out there to save species or are they out there just to make money

    Here follows a link to some of the species we have sadly lost due to lack of interest from US human beings (so called)

    Here’s Every Single Animal That Became Extinct In The Last 100 Years (PHOTOS) | Pixable

    With so many collections around these days claiming to want to help save the wildlife then why are they allowing species (some local to the collections) to die out.
     
  2. lamna

    lamna Well-Known Member

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    Because the conservation aspect only slowly crept in. Originally Modern Zoos were museums/theme parks there for scientific study and the entertainment of the public.

    Zoos still play these roles, and in some parts of the world that's still the major focus.

    Zoos are not a particularly profitable institution to run. If it was about the money, most zoos would be better off selling of their land for development. The land urban zoos are on is probably worth more than the zoo could make in a decade.

    And failures don't mean that something is worthless, or isn't trying. Why do we have zoos if so many species have gone extinct? Why do we have hospitals if 100% of people die?
     
  3. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Excellent point!

    Also, a number of zoos (and most of the major zoos in the UK) are set up as charities with trustees (who can't really extract profits) rather than owners (who can extract profits).
     
  4. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Definitely agreed. Just because zoos have had problems in the past, still have problems, doesn't mean they can't be fixed.
     
  5. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Most large and respectable zoos (at least in the USA and I presume in Europe) are non profit organizations. This by definition would say they are not in it for the money. In fact AZA establishments (which is most of the big name city zoos in my country) freely trade animals and do not sell them, so clearly there is no money there.

    However, as a very low wage worker who actually does have to make a minor sacrifice to pay admission fees at larger zoos, I must say I find the salaries of the big name zoo directors and conservation organization directors out of line. I suppose if you compare it to the millions that a CEO of a major corporation makes then their salary is peanuts. But it seems to me leading a non profit should involve a modest and giving lifestyle. As one example, I just saw a link on this site to the audit of the Saint Louis Zoo which states their director has a "compensation package" of well over half a million dollars a year. Is this really necessary?
     
  6. gerenuk

    gerenuk Well-Known Member

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    Zoos cannot decide the fate of species or control the extent at which animals are conserved.

    Animals are owned by whichever respective country they reside in, and these governments decide the fate of every species within their borders. With regards to policy and law, zoos are merely bystanders, but sometimes they get a chance to be stakeholders in wildlife policy decisions. Rarely are zoos allowed to swoop in to collect animals for animals on the verge of extinction and attempt breeding programs.
     
  7. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    That list is flawed. It doesn't list 'every single animal' to become extinct in the last 100 years, only the vertebrates (and some snails). Furthermore, many of the listed taxa are subspecies. And the Malagasy Pygmy Hippos became extinct more than 1,000 years ago, so I don't know why they are on the list.

    :p

    Hix
     
  8. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I think a lot of zoo critics fail to understand this. Zoo breeding can help a species, but it's stupid for anyone to think it can work entirely on its own. Zoos can't just release animals whenever they want, and even if they could, it wouldn't always be a good idea. If poaching is still a big problem for, say, African elephants, releasing some elephants would be a bad idea. What's the point of releasing animals if there's a high chance poachers are going to get to it first? Or if the habitat is damaged or shrinking?

    Anyway, I agree with Arizona Docent on zoo director salaries. I'm sure it's a difficult job, and it does deserve a good salary, but getting hundreds of thousands of dollars for working at a non-profit just seems obscene.