Join our zoo community

POLL: Should polar bears be housed in UK zoos?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by jadelee93, 7 May 2015.

?

Should polar bears be kept in UK zoos?

Poll closed 18 May 2015.
  1. Yes

    26 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. jadelee93

    jadelee93 Member

    Joined:
    24 Jul 2012
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    Retford
    Hello everyone :)

    As part of my ethics assignment, I'd like to include an up-to-date poll on people's opinions over whether polar bears should be housed in UK zoos?

    This is a topic I am very undecided upon myself, however I would love to hear all of your views on the matter. I understand getting my results off a "zoo chat" forum may present bias, although I'm hoping by doing so I shall at the very least receive opinions based on informed decisions.

    Thank your for your time!
     
  2. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    2,909
    Location:
    New York, USA
    It seems that by limiting it to a yes/no question you may miss the point. It is less an issue of whether or not they should be kept, but rather, in what manner
     
  3. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2014
    Posts:
    1,938
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    I'm voting yes, but that is of course proving that they are kept in an appropriate manner.

    I haven't seen either place with the polar bears in the UK, but judging from pictures, they are very good.
     
  4. jadelee93

    jadelee93 Member

    Joined:
    24 Jul 2012
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    Retford
    Of course. It's not meant to be an in-depth poll, it's only a short essay on a contemporary controversy followed by a proposition over how to overcome such a conflict. This poll is merely to support another I found suggesting the public were generally against the housing of polar bears in UK zoos which was created in 2008, coinciding with the campaigns against the keeping of Mercedes at Edinburgh Zoo. As that poll is now 7 years out of date, and instead of removing polar bears from UK zoos we have since acquired 4 more, I was just interested to see whether a change in time and influx of education had impacted the public view.
     
  5. Macaw16

    Macaw16 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    878
    Location:
    York, England
    I voted yes, but only if kept in a same manner as YWP.
     
  6. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    2,909
    Location:
    New York, USA
    Thanks for the explanation.
     
  7. lamna

    lamna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2013
    Posts:
    384
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK
    Two main issues with polar bears, one specific to them, one that applies to all bears.

    The first is climate, there is a lot of opposition to polars bears being kept in warm parts of the world. This isn't really an issue in the UK. They never are going to be cold in the UK but they are not going to experience extremely hot weather for long periods of time.

    The second is keeping them contained safely and mentally healthy. Bears are big, strong and smart, so in the old days people kept them pits so they couldn't escape, which were often small and barren.

    Considering bears are as intelligent as some monkeys, they got bored and went a bit crazy.

    These days large, secure, naturalistic exhibits can be built that are much better for them.
     
  8. Carl Jones

    Carl Jones Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2014
    Posts:
    142
    Location:
    Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire
    I agree with the other views expressed here it is not a simple yes or no answer. Bears often suffer from behavioural problems in captivity brought on by boredom, so it is common to see bears showing stereotypic behaviours such as pacing and weaving. These behaviours were all too common when zoos kept bears in concrete enclosures and it was the desire to improve their lot, coupled with the reaction of the public to seeing these disturbed bears that drove zoos to get rid of their old style exhibits. The current move to large naturalistic exhibits is good and the bears do much better in these types of enclosures.
     
  9. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2013
    Posts:
    1,032
    Location:
    Baltic Sea
    Won't posing this poll on an openly pro-zoo forum (and thus mostly pro-Polar bear husbandry) be considered as bias, and thus as not representative?
     
  10. jadelee93

    jadelee93 Member

    Joined:
    24 Jul 2012
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    Retford
    Hi Batto,

    In my initial post I did comment on the fact that I'm presuming this poll to be bias. However, I was under the impression "ZooChat" is a forum for those with an interest in zoos - not specifically for "pro-zoo" supporters.

    In addition, just because someone states themselves as "pro-zoo" does not mean they agree with the housing of ALL species within captivity, but merely acknowledge their merits. Regardless, if the poll comes back unanimous then I may opt to feature subsequent polls on non-zoo related sites or choose not to include within my assignment.
     
  11. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,253
    Location:
    League City, Texas
    On ZooChat, you're not gonna see any people who are outright opposed to all zoos, or even people who are uncomfortable with zoos. I don't know if people like that compose a significant portion of the population, but if it does, it would skew your results.

    On that note... I might be interested to know whether "pro-zoo" people might actually be more likely to oppose certain types of animal captivity than the general public. People on ZooChat tend to research these things. Your average member of the public won't know a whole lot about the needs of individual animals, and they can't always recognize problematic behaviors.