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Zoos: A Lost Cause [Not]

Discussion in 'United States' started by ZebraDude95, 12 Jan 2019.

  1. ZebraDude95

    ZebraDude95 Active Member

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    After looking at some of the forums on this site, I am starting to believe that zoos in general are a lost cause. Many species are dwindling at a rapid rate and, even with the help of zoos, they’re still going to become extinct. Maybe it’s time we shut the gates for good. If anyone has evidence to prove me wrong, I’d like to hear it.

    Edit: Zoos are NOT a lost cause. I let my feelings get the best of me. Zoos do amazing work at saving a variety of species from extinction and can really inform people about what they can do to save animals in the wild. I joined this community because of my love for zoos. I feel like I betrayed all of you. I’m sorry for my words. I promise to never say anything negative about zoos in general again.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2019
  2. ZooBinh

    ZooBinh Well-Known Member

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    Though, with this help and the public being informed, it provides hope. The big problem is people not taking action, thinking that others will do it. Why would you join a zoo forum only to....nevermind.
     
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  3. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Why would something like the AZA exist if zoos are a lost cause. The people who work at / run good zoos are usually very smart, and many of these places are non-profits. So it wouldnt make sense for them to continue to run zoos if it looks like they are a lost cause. So therefore I think they are not a lost cause. There must be some benefit to still running non-profit zoos, or else people would not do it.
     
  4. ZebraDude95

    ZebraDude95 Active Member

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    I want to apologize for my words. I clearly did not think this through when I posted the thread. I still love zoos with all my heart. I let my feelings get the best of me. I’m sorry.
     
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  5. Daktari JG

    Daktari JG Well-Known Member

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    On the contrary, I think zoos have never had a greater positive impact than they do now.
     
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  6. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    When I started visiting zoos in the 1960's, many zoos had collections of many species, some taken from the wild. Some animals were kept singly and many never bred. The turnover could be very high, but I often saw new species on each visit. Some animals were kept in very small enclosures, with little to do and only a small area to move about in; many showed stereotypic behaviour.
    Since then, many zoos have cut their collections, leading to larger enclosures for large, 'charismatic' species and many smaller animals leaving the collection or not being replaced. There is more emphasis on conservation, but many zoos keep the same species, which are not part of a reintroduction programme, while some endangered are not kept, even though they could be bred for reintroduction. Many zoos also have a high proportion of species that are not yet threatened and these species are often kept in separate enclosures in the same zoo.

    I think that some zoos have lost their way and need to coordinate with other zoos, so they don't keep the same ABC species, but encourage visitors to visit nearby zoos that have different species. I don't want zoos to follow the same path as some towns, which have the same shops with the same contents. I doubt if many visitors want to see the same species in several enclosures, especially if different species are only kept behind the scenes.
    Books and TV programmes now include various obscure species that could interest visitors and could be kept in captivity. Zoos could be more innovative and use exhibits to interest visitors, rather than having visitors moving on to the next enclosure after seeing an animal.
    I also wonder why there are so many domestic animals in zoos. Shouldn't a children's zoo be used to interest children in small wild animals, rather than farm animals?
     
  7. Ursus

    Ursus Active Member

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    I think that the main reason to showcase farm animals in zoos is because people should think more of a cow (for example) as a animal itself, and not just as future steak. I also feel like a lot of exotic domestic livestock is often displayed and not the countries own breeds. Think of watusi cattle, boer goats and cameroon sheep which are all originally from Africa. I feel like they do this to educate people on ''differences'' between the livestock from other foreign countries and their own. Over here in the Netherlands we actually don't have that many zoos that have many farm animals (Dutch breeds) on display other than GaiaZoo. Children's farms on the other hand keep usually Dutch breeds and sometimes wallabies and fallow deer as their exotics.
    I think that children's zoo's keep farm animals as they are more known to them then let's say a tamandua or kinkajou. Besides that there usually are petting-pens for pygmy goats, chickens and rabbits. Personally I don't mind zoos having a small section of the park dedicated to livestock as they're usually a exotic breed. To some people they may seem very boring though, which I can understand very well, I mean, who goes to the zoo to see a sheep or a cow when you can (from what I know) go to a childrens farm for free.
     
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  8. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ursus

    The last time I went to Basel Zoo, it seemed that 30% was given over to farm animals. If zoos are to keep farm animals, wouldn't it be better to keep them alongside their wild ancestors or show how animals have been bred to produce varied forms. Zoologica used to have an interesting display of different pigeon breeds. Darwin's work on pigeons helped to develop his ideas on evolution.
     
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  9. Daktari JG

    Daktari JG Well-Known Member

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    To most urban kids, a goat or a lamb are every bit as exotic as a lion.
    Maybe even more so, since they probably see lions all the time on TV.
    Thirty percent would certainly seem excessive though.
     
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  10. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Getting to touch an animal, especially one that isn't a dog or cat, is really exciting for kids, as is feeding them. Domestics are an easy, fun way for kids (and adults) to get to interact with animals in a safe, supervised setting. It's often the most exciting part for them. Many zoos also tend to use rescued livestock, which are hard to rehome, or rare breeds.
     
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  11. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. This is a big black hole in modern zoos.

    Children zoos and playgrounds in most zoos serve no conservation or education purposes. They are simply entertainment thrown in.

    There are so much education topics possible: how to make wildlife-friendly farming, how to reduce conflict of farmers with big carnivores, goats as invasive species etc etc.

    And I agree that zoos have no special business teaching about domestic animals. It is simply not the scope of zoos. Outer space is also interesting educational topic, but not for a zoo. Zoo is a zoological garden, not an agricultural garden.

    And indeed, zoos could show wild species in petting zoos. For example wild goat and sheep species and various large rodents. Why not banteng instead of taurine cattle? Banteng are actually much more docile and endangered. Or why not ibex, markhor or urial instead of goats and sheep (only females and young, actually sexes live separately in the wild)? Why not wild rabbits, wild guinea pigs, patagonian cavies, prairie dogs, ground squirrels etc.
     
  12. ZooBinh

    ZooBinh Well-Known Member

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    Zoos need something to keep them in business, and petting zoos help parents pull their children in. Also, why would you let a dirty kid touch a wild animal that can get sick from human interaction?
     
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  13. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Just because the domestic species aren't endangered, doesn't mean there's conservation or education going on. Getting to interact with those animals often leads to kids becoming more interested in animals in general, which helps conservation. Most children's zoos do have educational signs, as well; usually about how to run a farm, how the basics of things like eggs and milk work, which again, are related to animals as a whole but broken down to an easier to understand level that kids can actually *see*.
     
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  14. Terry Thomas

    Terry Thomas Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Do not feel sorry! You are entitled to your thoughts and opinions, even if many disagree with you. At the very least you have made a few folks think!!
     
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