J500 Media and the Environment

I practically lived at the zoo by meganr21

In high school I volunteered over 1,600 hours at the Los Angeles Zoo. What drove me to give my time was the difference I made, not just in the local community but also on a global scale. This is why I find it so frustrating when people say that zoos are bad places and should be shut down.

California Condor

California Condor

            From my experience most people that protest zoos are ignorant of their purpose and function. While not all zoos are perfect, those accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) meet a high standard for the health and wellbeing of their collections. Today zoos are committed to protecting and conserving the environment. Zoos spend hundreds of millions of dollars on wildlife and conservation both on and off grounds through programs like the species survival plan. Consider the California Condor, in the 1980’s the population had dropped to 22 individuals left in the entire world. The Los Angeles Zoo worked diligently to bring the wild population into captivity. Through their efforts the population has grown into the hundreds and most have been re-released into the wild.

            People today want to save the planet for future generations. Zoos are going to play a vital role in this plan because they are leaders conservation and work tirelessly to save the earth’s inhabitants from extinction. So the next time you visit a zoo, remember that there are many things going on behind the scenes that ensure the survival of animals for future generations.

Megan Richards

Image Credit: California Condors


3 Comments so far
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Zoos also inspire thousands, millions of children! People who devote their lives to protecting animals develop that passion early in life. I think a trip to the zoo is one of the best ways a family can spend the day. They’re educational and extremely positive.

Comment by mackenzies09

I don’t think opponents of zoos are necessarily ignorant. The fact of the matter is, many enclosures for large animals are not adequate in size and/or do not offer any kind of activity for the animals other than pacing back and forth. Maybe it won’t be long before they put zoo animals on anti-depressants, if they aren’t already.

Comment by christinaw09

I agree that many zoos aren’t up to snuff w/ exhibit size, but accredited institutions are constantly raising funds to upgrade and improve exhibits. As far as no activities I’d have to disagree, while some animals have a tendency to pace zoos have enrichment programs that keep the animals active and try to cultivate natural behaviors as best they can. Again there is the whole behind the scenes aspect that many people don’t know about like some institutions taking elephants for walks outside of patron hours. You also have to look at the flip side, most of the zoo animals these days were born in captivity and would be hard pressed to survive if they were just dumped into the wild – this doesn’t make up for older enclosures but as funding becomes available zoos do what they can to improve things for the animals.

Comment by meganr21

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