close up of an elephant with a tear in its eye

I No Longer Support the Zoo or the Circus

There have been a few news stories over the last several weeks that involved animals at zoos being killed. I’m sure you’re familiar with the story about the gorilla that was killed to save a boy at the Cincinnati Zoo. Maybe a little less familiar with the man who stripped naked and entered a lion enclosure in a Chilean zoo, but the lions were killed.

We have people jumping and accidently falling into animal exhibits and the animals are being killed because of it. I understand that we should protect human lives, but rather than taking animals away from their homes and locking them in a cage, shouldn’t we find a way to keep them in their natural habitat?

We are protecting them from poachers. Thier habitats are being destroyed by deforestation and pollution. We can learn more about them when we can observe them closer.

These are the arguments you will hear for zoos. These zoos are also profiting from these animals so don’t believe everything they tell you about why the have them locked in cages.

Have you ever been to a zoo? I have. Not one of those animals looks happy. Frankly they were probably happy to get killed. They no longer had to live a miserable existence in an enclosure.

I recently watched An Apology to Elephants on HBO. This short documentary examines their abuse and chronicles efforts to provide more humane treatment.

Elephants are smart. They don’t forget, and they can even paint.

The reason they can do “tricks” is because they are abused, tied, beat and tortured. The way elephants in the circus are treated to get them to perform is sad and downright wrong.

Unfortunately, you cannot just release animals back into the wild. Most captive-born predators die if released. We are really painting ourselves into a corner here because soon the only animals that exist will be in captivity.

Organizations like PETA are speaking out against zoos, and organizations like PAWS are helping to in this cause against captivity and abuse.

PAWS is dedicated to the protection of performing animals, to providing sanctuary to abused, abandoned and retired captive wildlife, to enforcing the best standards of care for all captive wildlife, to the preservation of wild species and their habitat and to promoting public education about captive wildlife issues.

The biggest threat to animals and their habitats is us. When we stop putting a value on ivory, fur and entertainment then we can begin to keep the animals that are so vital to our ecosystem in their natural habitats.