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My Fears Of The Future: Question

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Cheetahspeed75, 27 Aug 2016.

  1. Cheetahspeed75

    Cheetahspeed75 New Member

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    I've been wanting to have an discussion about society and the (in my opinion) rapidly changing view on animals in captivity. Please understand that I myself am a supporter of zoos, parks, organizations, etc. that work with global animal species. I am a firm believer that though it might seem that animal captivity is wrong, I trust in the aspect that zoos are giving the best possible care to their animals, raising public awareness, contributing to species conservation, educating the general public about the beautiful animals our world is home to, providing many other benefits to the larger global picture. I ultimately want to see zoos progress and thrive providing more programs, opportunities, and education because I believe animal captivity truly benefits species globally as well as the natural habitat they originated from.

    (Please know that I am discussing what I have experienced through my local community in the United States and the perceptions and views I have developed through my personal conversations, social media outlets, research, and discoveries. I would love to hear any thoughts on this issue. Zoochat is a global community and I welcome all to weigh in on what your perceptions are from what you have experienced.)

    As a college student, I am constantly interacting with other young minds on a daily basis and hearing many points of view of "the injustices in our world," especially in the form of social media. From what I have experienced, one of the trends now is that animal captivity is unjust and not right. The argument is mainly towards Seaworld and places that care for Cetaceans due to the Blackfish "documentary," but I am getting the sense that this trend is going to continue to evolve. Since the Harambe incident, I believe that the trend it is progressing especially with millennials in the United States.

    MY QUESTION: Do you fear for the future of Zoos?
     
  2. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    I doubt zoos are gonna go anywhere for a long, long time. Keep in mind that the internet allows everyone to make their opinion public to the entire world, so you can come across a website full of people who hate zoos and think that it's a super popular opinion. But zoos today are more popular than ever, with many zoos even breaking their attendance records in recent years.

    Now, I do think circuses and animal theme parks like SeaWorld will go out of style in a lot of places. There's definitely a growing opposition to the use of animals for primarily entertainment purposes. But I think a lot of people still acknowledge the educational and conservation value in regular zoos and aquariums.
     
  3. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    I think TheMightyOrca makes important points. It has become increasingly difficult to gauge opinion as the internet hears best those who speak loudest and nastiest (Harambe is a perfect case of a small group making a loud noise representing nothing but venom) .
    Zoo visitation is looking good, but that is no indicator either. If, as is reported, millennials are delaying having families and should they have smaller families, that will have an impact on visitation soon enough.
    But visitation is not the only concern. Zoos need donors to survive and especially to modernize and grow. That is becoming an endangered species. For many zoos, they need supportive communities who will vote for bond issues as well. So far that group seems solid.
    Zoos are changing, certainly, as they do from time to time. The zoo culture I remember from my youth is not the one you now know. The AZA has at last begun trying to change the public conversation from "captivity" to "saving species." That's a difficult trick to accomplish, especially with millennials who style themselves as free thinking.
    But what some age cohort thinks when they are 28 and childless does not necessarily predict what they will do when they are 40 and have 3 kids.
    So, IMO, the future will be unlike the past. Well d'uh.
    Those of us who yearn for the zoos of old with magnificent stamp-collection collections will probably be very disappointed. Those of us who loathe zip lines, merry-go-rounds and Pokemon Go will also be disappointed. But it just seems unlikely that animals in zoos will disappear anytime soon.
     
  4. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    How you are defining millennials? I google searched and one deffinition is that millennials are those born in the years 1982-1994? :) I suppose there are also millennial animals, since cosmic influences are on everything on this Earth :)

    By the way, good points of view, you both.
     
  5. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    The families thing is an important point, though as a millennial myself, I see plenty of people my age who love going to the zoo. It certainly helps that everyone today has a camera and wants to go places where they can take cool photos, ha ha.