Join our zoo community

Resources and Tips for Zoo Debates

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by ThatOneZooGuy, 22 Jul 2020.

  1. ThatOneZooGuy

    ThatOneZooGuy Well-Known Member

    9 Sep 2019
    Howdy Folks!

    I have found myself in more and more debates recently with people about the justification of zoos. I have quite a few examples that I use to my advantage and I figured I would share in case anybody else on here got in a debate and ran out of examples to prove their point.

    Just a tip: Always start off you’re argument suggesting that Roadside For Profit ‘Zoos’ are bad for example Joe Exotic’s ‘Zoo’. Just to clarify your stance, because if you don’t clarify this it’s likely that these ‘zoos’ can and will be used against you. If you do happen to like these ‘zoos’ than that is where our opinions differ. :p

    To Start off, possibly the strongest justification for the existence of zoos-

    Species that would likely be extinct without zoos

    -California Condor ( Most obvious example)
    -Scimitar Horned Oryx
    -Przewalski’s Wild Horse
    -European Bison
    -Red and Mexican Wolves
    -Wyoming Toad
    -Peré David’s Deer
    -Black Footed Ferret
    -Golden Lion Tamarins
    -Northern White Rhino???? ( We’re counting on you San Diego)

    Many People will suggest that zoos do little to nothing to save a species wild counterparts, this should prove them wrong-

    What Zoos do for Conservation
    -The AZA recommends zoos donate at least 3% of their funding towards conservation.
    -That may not sound like much but according to Denver Zoo’s Annual Report for 2019, 3% of their budget equates to just under 1.3 Million, and that is if the zoo does the bare minimum.
    -On average AZA facilities collectively spent about 160 million on conservation.
    -Zoos release many captive born birds and reptiles into the wild as well to build up a larger wild population of the species!
    -As a side note, I believe that San Diego released a Black Rhino into a reserve in Africa just recently although I’m not sure, let me know if I’m right or wrong on this one.

    Many people will also compare zoos to prisons or jails, here are some talking points to counter that point-

    What Zoos do For their Own Animals
    -Chances are that if somebody thinks of a zoo as a terrible prison that they haven’t been to a zoo in many years. There are is of course the small group that have, but chances are that most people who hate zoos haven’t been to any recently.
    -Zoos have improved drastically over the past several years and are continuing to improve every day. For the most part, zoos have replaced, or plan to replace their ancient Bear grottos, tiny monkey cages, and barren concrete yards in favor of much more naturalistic and beneficial habitats for both guests and animals.
    -Though it doesn’t work for Elephants, many species’ captive lifespans are a fair bit longer than their wild counterparts. Even bottle nose dolphins live longer! Another example is the Pallas’ cat which rarely lives to three years in the wild, but in captivity can live for 12!

    The Wild also allows a freedom that zoos can never truly replicate, however, zoos also protect their animals from the countless threats of the Wild including-

    Why Captivity Can be Drastically Better For Many Endangered Species
    -No Risk of Poaching
    -Potentially Fatal Diseases in the Wild can be Readily Treatable in the Captive Environment
    -No Risk of Habitat Loss
    -No Risk of Food/ Water Shortages
    -And Much More...

    In Conclusion
    -I am not saying that Zoos are without their faults, there are some issues that must be addressed in the future. However, most Zoos, Especially in the AZA, ZAA, and EAZA where all member zoos are kept to a standard elevating them above the past world of tiny bars and concrete dens.
    -This is only a small hint of the good that zoos can do, and the vast resources that prove it therefore...

    Feel Free to Post Additional Resources and Facts, Correct Possible Mistakes I made, or Even Debate Me in The Comments Below!:)
  2. Neil chace

    Neil chace Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    27 Aug 2018
    You can add amur leopard to the species that would otherwise be extinct. There have also been some black and white ruffed Lemur- released back to the wild by Duke Lemur Center.
    Jungle Man and ThatOneZooGuy like this.