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      06.01.2009 18:46

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      this question is for or against zoos?

      I am looking for the best answer to help me with my speach! I want to find out what are the reasins for poeple being for and against zoos? This information would really really help me with my english work and could put me high up in the class. Many people believe it is bad to keep animals in zoos, but then again some people believe that it is safer for the animals which are near extinction. I am neither for or against this zoo project for ovbious reasons to be fair to all readers, it would be nice if i could have very particular answers to my question. It would help me alot in this project. If you are reading this please reply to this review it would help me alot. So please reply. Are you for or against zoos today in this world? Reply if you have a good answer for me

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      23.06.2007 02:37
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      Be careful what attractions you visit on holiday. The society we are used to is so different!

      ~~What do zoos in the UK mean to us? ~~ In the UK the majority of us love a good day out at the zoo. I know I do, I have reviewed Chester Zoo already, which is one of my favourite places to visit. When I was a child I would get excited about a trip to the zoo and remember being so excited about going, that I could never sleep the night before. The reason I love zoos? It is a chance to see animals that I will probably never get to see in the wild, some animals that won't be in the wild in 15 years time due to extinction, and some animals that are extinct already. It isn't just seeing these animals that makes me enjoy visiting the zoo, it is seeing them in great, spacious enclosures, close to their natural habitat, and in which they seem to be very comfortable and happy. It is great to learn about the animals on a zoo visit, and it is fantastic to see zoos doing something for environmental issues and conservation, protecting endangered species and setting up breeding programmes to keep these animals in life. A few people think zoos are cruel places and in the UK we are lucky enough to be a nation of animal lovers who only want the best for the species that are being kept in this country. **Chester zoo - Chester zoo is my favourite place to visit for a day out, I won't go into huge detail about the zoo, as I have reviewed this already and will be going off topic a little but they have a whole range of campaigns to help with protecting endangered species, including supporting anti poaching of Rhinos in Africa to connservation in forest reserves in China. They really do have a huge input, and at the same time care for their animals in the best possible way they can. They are constantly striving to improve and constantly renovating, and building new enclosures for the existing animals in the zoo, as opposed to leaving them where they are and just making money. They have a new super-enclosure opening next month called Realm Of The Red Ape, which is an enclosure for orang-u-tans, and for those of you who don't know this, this species of ape is expected to be extinct in the wild in the next 20 years. The enclosure has cost £3.5 million to make and this is evidence enough to show that Chester Zoo care about the animals on our planet and in their zoo. I can go into detail a little more about Chester Zoo, as I have further knowledge of this zoo that any others, and visit on a regular basis. *Bristol Zoo - Supports Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund, the conservation of seabirds in South Africa, and they support the protection of Tamarins in Brazil, along with numerous other campaigns and funding that they all give to promote consevation and protection of animals. *Blackpool Zoo - Supports Parrot welfare, and Mountain Gorilla's fight for survival, another animal in danger of becoming extinct. I have also reviewed this zoo and all the animals seemed so happy and had enclosures that were fantastic. *Edinburgh Zoo - Are helping Save the Rhino, stopping the bushmeat trade in which primates are killed often leaving stranded orphans behind to starve to death, and this zoo has numerous animals entered in breeding programmes to prevent their species from becoming extinct. They are actively involved in conservation in Scotland, as well as other parts of the world. *London Zoo/whipsnade zoo - Both of these places are ran by the Zoological Society Of London (ZSL). The ZSL run over 30 conservation programmes worldside and run many different campaigns and breeding programmes to protect the planet, fight extinction, prevent global warming, preserving rainforests, water supplies and so much more. This zoo really leads the way as one of the top activists. All 5 zoos I have mentioned so far, and only 5 out of many zoos and safari parks in the UK, are doing fantastic work for animal welfare across the globe, but at the same time, realise their number one priority are the animals within their care. Chester Zoo is a clear example of this by constantly aiming to improve standards within their zoo, as their moto seems to be "nothing is ever good enough", which is a fantastic attitude to have where animal welfare is concerned. In the UK we have some of the world's leading experts in wild animal care and zoology working within our zoos. To sum up the first part of the review - we can see that as a whole, the UK seems to strive to be the best at keeping the animals in great conditions, the animals seem happy, and always strive to do better and improve themselves. Zoos in the UK are a "happy place" for us to visit, when we think of a zoo, the majority of us will think of animals being kept to a high standard, an educational, yet fun day out. I find it quite sad that I have to move on to the second part of the review. <<In the UK - definition of the word ZOO>> - A place to care for, protect, preserve and nuture many species of animals allowing the public to view them, educating the public at the same time, raising awareness of extinction, conservation issues and campaigns, striving to fight anything terrible happening to the millions of wild animals across our planet. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~What does the word "Zoo" mean abroad?~ Moving on to the second part of the review... sadly it is not the same as the UK where the rest of the world is concerned. Countries such as America, Canada and Austrailia, and certain European countries seem to have got it pretty much right, with a few exceptions. Not a great deal can be said for the rest of the world, I'm afraid. *City Zoo, Warsaw, Poland. - This zoo is over 70 years old and alot of it is rotting away. Used as a money maker, this zoo doesn't seem to give a hoot about it's inhabitants. I have never visited this zoo, but have read that there have been a few improvements over the last few years, but they are no where near up to any means of what I would call a humane standard. Here is a video of a polar bear being kept at Warsaw Zoo. It is pacing up and down, rocking through boredem, no food or water is visible, the swimming pool is green, and no toys, no company. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxAlZQ12ebw&mode=related&search= *Changchung Wildlife Park, China. - This place has to be one of the most barbaric and cruel places ever. For a charge, visitors can "purchase" a live chicken, lamb or cow, and have them fed live to animals within the zoo. I find this unnecessary and cruel. In this country it is illegal to feed live animals to a captive mammal, it is a huge shame that the Chinese cannot realise that it is cruel to do what they are doing. Here is a video of the whole procedure from this zoo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-kGq5LgKxg *Various animals from various Chinese Zoos are being forced to take part in the annual "Animal Olympics", a cruel and barbaric way,of yet again, making money. It involves wild animals doing all kinds of tricks, involving bears, primates, reptiles. A truly sick sport, and money maker. An example, bears are gagged, muzzled, and chained together so they "wrestle"... this is "bear fighting". They are screamed at by crowds of people cheering them on who have paid to watch this sick event. China, as a country is a very wealthy and very educated country. How on earth can they not realise that what they are doing is unneccessary, sick and cruel? *Unknown zoo, Thailand - This zoo uses animals to perform tricks, of course always at a charge to make money money money. Elephants riding bikes, which they are clearly "stuck to" to perform. This is not keeping animals in their natural habitat, this is not preserving wildlife, this is not keeping them in great conditions, and this is not humane. Here is another video, this one of the elephant riding a bike: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2QzbPG3Z78 The above zoos are only 5 out of the thousands of zoos worldwide. My advice is, if you are travelling abroad, do not visit a zoo. 1. You are only encouraging them by handing over your money. 2. It will be extremely upsetting, after visiting a zoo in the UK to be faced with derelict conditions, poor treatment of animals, and what would be classed as a serious cruelty charge here in the UK. Of course, not all zoos abroad are like this, but it is a sad fact that the majority are. The majority of zoos abroad do not do anything for animal welfare, no campaigns and no charites. They are all out to make money for themselves and to hell with the animals. It seems the attitude here is "If the animals are alive, then we make the cash". To sum up the second part of the review - I cannot understand why on earth, the UK, a teeny tiny little area of the globe can be so advanced with animal welfare, care and protection when major, established countries like China, haven't got a clue. They are lucky enough to have some of these animals living wild in their country, and take them for granted, maybe that is the reason, who knows? I certainly cannot get my head around the fact that we, a tiny nation are so far advanced with our animal protection laws, than further established countries in every way possible. The UK seems to be a place that has its priorities right where it comes to animal welfare, and we should be proud of setting a fantastic example to the rest of the world - its just a pity they don't seem to be following. <<Abroad - Definition of the word ZOO>> - A place to keep animals, perform animal shows and make money. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ So to sum up the whole review: Zoos have a place in today's society. They have a fantastic place in society within the UK, and not the case abroad. The problem is, I don't think this will ever change, untill other countries start to change their laws on animal cruelty as their standards of animal husbandry are terrible. Not all zoos abroad are like this, but alot sadly are, with China and Eastern Europe being amongst the worst. The answer to the orginal question depends on what society you live in, if you live in a society where animals are looked after, they seem happy, they are not forced to perform, they have habitats as close to their natural wild habitats as possible, they are fed the correct foods, have plenty of things to do, not overcrowded by guests, and are seriously treasured, then yes, Zoos have a fantastic place in society. If not, then zoos should be forced to close and the animals moved to a safer place, i.e. a REAL zoo. Many of the zoos in Eastern Europe only house around 50 animals, kept in dire conditions. On the other hand, you have Chester Zoo, with over 7000 animals kept in fantastic conditions. I will never ever visit a foreign zoo untill conditions are improved and they get off their backsides, stop wanting to just make money and actually give a damn about the animals on this planet.

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        02.04.2007 18:37
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        close all the zoos

        Keeping animals in zoos is cruel. I've been to several zoos in the past and there is always a tear in my eyes when I leave. it is not because I am overjoyed after looking at various animals. It is not that I love the animals so much that I miss them. Planet of the Apes films always come in my head when I leave. We humans have no idea or don't really care. I remember case of Austrian girl held in captivity for several years. It was headline all over the world when she escaped. I feel the same for some animals. Quite a lot of animals don't really care, for these animals food on time is what is important. Some though miss the wild. Nowhere in the UK is there a zoo that is big enough for all the animals kept. In one of the zoos I saw a Deer walking around looking really bored and miserable. Birds of different variety and also cats, lions, Jaguars, and some more that I can't recall anymore. Lot of animals don't like humans walking around them and it all looks silly when little kids get excited even though the animal they are watching is slowly dying because of captivity. Zoos are thing of the past. TV programmes are better than watching live animals. Do we really need zoos. No is my answer. Like I said TV is much better. BBC shows dozens of programmes every week on nature. I think time has come to close all zoos and nature reserves which contain animals that don't belong to this country.

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          27.02.2007 02:13

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          Are all zoos bad. Are all good. Find out what you need for a good zoo.

          I think that zoos can be good or bad. It matters how good of a habbitate the zoo provides for the animal. If the zoo is really small with alot of animals than that is definately not a good zoo. A good zoo needs to be big and give a good living conditions for every animal in it. Also it should be as close as possible to the animals normal habbitat in the wild. Of course there is no way a zoo could be like the wild but if your going to have one it should be close.

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          31.10.2006 12:34
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          Keep supporting your local zoo, they need you.

          Zoos are important to today's world, WHY? Because with out them many animals would die out, leaving them extinct and us left only with pictures. Pandas no longer live in the wild but on nature reserves or in Zoo's, this is because this is the safest place for them. Over the years they have died out because of some nasty people in the world killing them or because they no longer can live in the wild due to lack of habitat. With a little help from Zoo's and wildlife reserves Pandas can become strong again in their numbers by breeding them and giving them a good quality of life, in protected zones. This is also the same for many other animals which if it wasn't for zoo's they would by dieing out fast i.e. Tigers, lions, elephants, Hippos. Also Zoo's are an excellent educational resource for children and schools, it gives them a better understanding on the world and how to protect everything single animal we come across. In this country Zoo's are becoming better all the time, animals are not kept in small cages but have huge areas to explore similar to their natural habitat. They are given toys to play with and food when needed and survive longer in zoo's than they would do in the wild, isn't this better for some animals who are on the verge of extinct? I just don't understand why people do not like zoo's or wildlife parks as i feel they put the interests of the animals first by providing that safe haven, yes they also rely on us but they need to because we have to look after these animals too. My opinion here is based on uk zoo's and ones i have been to in the Usa. Not all Zoos in the world are nice and they should not be supported but as a UK society WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF OUR ZOO'S and the work the do.

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            07.04.2006 08:18
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            Zoos are okay as long as they are monited.

            I think zoos are sometimes are a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. They offer many advantages for children and the general public but offer some disadvantages to the species of animal. Firstly zoo's have an educational purpose. They often give the public an insight to the animal's life, an oppurtunity that they would not normally get to see. Children can find out lots about the animal because some zoo's provide information about the certain animal. Also zoo's often provide a good idea for school trip's for children which give them a chance to get out of the classroom and learn. Zoo's widen the resources for teachers to teach children about the animals that are on this planet with us. However some animal right's groups may not agree with this. They often protest about how cruel zoo's are to animals. They say that the animals which are in zoo's are not kept in a beneficial environment. Animals which are used for educational benefits don't show their true characteristics because the animals are kept in poor conditions. But other people may argue. Zoo's look after the animals well. Also zoos help preserve the species of animal by keeping them safe and well fed where as animals might die of starvation in the wild if there is a shortage of food. If animal's in zoos get sick, they can be treated immediately to prevent their condition from getting any worse, while animals in the wild often die of disease's which are spreading around. Eventhough the animals in zoo's are well cared for and are kept safe, some animals don't actually like being in zoo's. Research carried out shows that some animals feel confined in zoos and they often get bored. On the PETA website it says that sometimes animals in zoos hate it so much there that they can sometimes get a diesase that is related to being in zoo's. In conclusion I believe zoo's are a good idea as long as they are monited about how they treat the animals. Zoo's are entertaing for children and also have an educational benefit surrounding them.

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              27.12.2005 13:05
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              Zoos are too educational to be dismantled. The majority of zoos are not cruel.

              I'm a University student, studying Education, and part of our course is to use a resource which will educate children on an area of science. I chose to use my local zoo as a resource. I must admit that there are still zoos which dont seem to have the right environments for the animals to thrive in and there is nothing worse than seeing animals caged up, pacing about uphappily. But in my experience, I haven't seen any zoos such as these. The zoos I have been to, have had large areas with stimulae for the animals, such as large wooden climbing frames, rope swings and as close to natural habitats as possible. The zoos have had information on the declining population of endangered species, and the zoos have sponsored and raised thousands towards the prevention of poaching, conserving the environment etc. They create an environment for the animals where visitors can get close but the animals are not in the faces of the visitors with nowhere to hide or feel comfortable. I can't see these zoos being cruel at all as no animal is caged up and lonely. They animals are cared for and loved by all the staff. From an educational point of view, they are full of uses by families and schools in educating children about animals, where they live, their natural environments and conservation. Zoos are definitely needed to create an awareness to the world about the planet they live in and see that the animals are here to share it with us. They are fascinating places where you can get close to animals which you would never normally be able to get to, they enable us to appreciate the world and its diversity. Hopefully all zoos will ba able to create a stimulating environment for animals as well as people in the future, thinking about the needs of the animals. It would be a shame and very much missed, if we didnt have such places. First hand experience is so special and important for children, as well as adults, to learn. Better than just sitting in front of a t.v. watching a program on animals, and not getting the full experience.

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                19.07.2005 16:23
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                I like zoos as long as they treat the animals correctly.

                I know zoos are cruel and I know that it is horrible to go there and see many animals couped up in tiny cages while people are knocking on the glass in an attempt to get the animals to do something interesting. However although there are some bad zoos, there are some really nice ones and i am going to concentrate on the nice facts about zoos. First what is a zoo? Well a zoo is classed as a place where animals are showcased to the public. How long ago were zoos created? Well zoos used to only belong to kings way back in the 18th century. Called menageries, they were allocated for public use in 1752. The name was changed to zoological gardens and then shortened to zoo in the early 1800’s. Why do we love going to the zoo? There are several reasons why I love going to the zoo. Firstly they provide a great insight into what animals look like and how they behave and in some zoos how they live. It is safe to say that living here in the UK I would probably not see a tarantula, crocodile or even a snake just by chance. Zoos allow you to see these animals and get up close to them. Also zoos provide a great big scientific study. The more we understand these animals, the more we learn and many zoos now offer breeding programmes so that we can establish a new population of otherwise extinct animals. Why do we hate zoos? Many zoos simply are cruel. They enclose the animals in very small spaces and some zoos even chain the animals down. We can’t help thinking that the animals would be better off in their natural environment than stuck in an artificial place as a sideshow. However there are some nice zoos that treat the animals well. The best zoo in the world in my opinion? I happen to have a joint favourite. The first is the safari park which is located in the West Midlands where I live in England. You get in your car and drive round all the various animal enclosures and the animals are genuinely happy. There are huge grounds and you used to be able to feed the animals from your car but I am not sure if they let you do that now. When you have driven round all of the larger animals such as giraffes, lions and animals you can go to the smaller zoo and see all the favourites such as spiders, seals etc… My favourite memories of the safari park are; 1. When we were little, my parents took me and my little brother and he was ecstatic to see the animals and even more so when he found out they would come and feed from his hand. A camel decided to come and get some food but as he put his head through the car window he was sick. Not pleasant at the time but now we laugh about it whenever we mention the safari park. 2. Again this was when I was little but they used to have monkeys roaming free and they climbed all over your car. I loved it when my dad decided to squirt them with the window washer. They retaliated by pulling my dads windscreen wiper off the car and running off with it. Being y family we found this hilarious and carried on driving. My second favourite zoo is called Apenheul located in Apeldoorm in Holland. A truly wonderful primate park, you can see various types of monkey, apes and gorillas. This is no ordinary park however because the monkeys are all free. I love the fact that as you walk into the park you have to put all your belongings into monkey-proof bags that you are provided with as pictures show you that the cheeky monkeys can put their hands in your pocket to get stuff. We had a fantastic day and the highlight was when I was sitting on a bench and a small golden lion tamarin monkey came and sat on my knee. Not all of the monkeys are free roaming but you can get very close to them all. There is also a small petting zoo so you can see some goats and birds. If you ever go to Holland I would go to this place. How do the monkeys stay there? They just love it, honestly you walk around and they are free, having fun with the other monkeys and the people and they have everything they need. Finally zoos provide a fantastic day out for all of the family. I love seeing the animals along with my parents, their parents and also my young nephews and nieces. I know that some zoos are cruel and I do wish that all of the animals were in their natural environment but I also feel privileged that I have had the chance to see some of these animals in the flesh. Thanks for reading. xxx

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                  20.07.2003 18:42
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                  Zoos are both good and bad in my opinion. They are good because they sometimes help to breed animals that are endangered species and keep them around which would have been great if they had been able to keep things like dodo birds but I don't think there were any zoos when they got extinct. Maybe zoos will help to make sure that pandas and some types of tigers and parrots don't become extinct and that will be good. They are also good because they let children learn about different kinds of animals that they wouldn't usually see in their country if they weren't in zoos. The penguin parade is funny. They are a bit bad too though because they keep animals away from their natural habitat and keep them in quite small cages where they don't really have space to move around very freely. Maybe the animals are better off being extinct than living cooped up in little cages. I think that they probably aren't any worse than normal people who keep rabbits and goats and chickens in their gardens. When I was little I loved going to the zoo for a day out and I'm sure children now love it too. I think we should keep zoos but maybe make them have bigger cages and have viewing areas with glass so as people can't shout at the animals and throw things in at them.

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                    24.01.2003 18:36
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                    I remember going to the zoo on a school trip when I was in the junoir's, so I must have been around 12 years old. It was Chester zoo we went to and I remember being quite excited about my first visit to the zoo. We went there on the coach and had to take a packed lunch, once in the zoo we were told we could look around in groups of three, then meet up at 2.30pm to go home. Of course we all chose to be with our friends before setting off to explore and as I have always been fasinated by elephants I wanted to go to see them. When we got to the elephant's enclosure. I can remember seeing two large elephants pacing around their enclosed area, there was a raised piece of ground that they were on which had a little moat around it then railings where we stood. As I was standing there looking at them I could feel that it wasn't right, they didn't seem happy. I never knew why I felt this but it was no longer and exciting place to be and I felt sad for the elephants. We saw giant Turtle's and lots of different Birds, Snakes, Sealions,Giraffe and lions as well as other animals. Then we came to the monkeys cages, which I seem to remember was inside a building. In one cage there were about four or five chimpanzee's and another had about four other monkey's in it. There were signs up saying don't feed the monkeys, but being kids we didn't take any notice as one of the little monkeys was holding out an arm through the bars for food, it looked so sad, like it was pleading. I remember my friend giving it some of her sandwiches. In the next cage was the Gorrilla, he was massive and I stood to look at him for age's, he was sitting with his face to the wall with his arms folded and head down, I knew he was sad and he was in the cage all alone, but the moment he turned his head towards me, I could have cried. I will never forget the sad look on his face and can still picture it now. I didn't enjoy seeing all the animals in the cages at the zoo and would never visit another one to give them my money which allows them to stay in business, I strongly believe wild aminals should be just that, wild and free. I never go to the circus either as I don't agree with animals being kept for entertainment. I think Chester zoo has closed down now and I am glad. Leave the animals in the wild where they belong.

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                      03.10.2002 00:49
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                      • RASHES

                      IF YOU USE ANYTHING MADE BY PROCTER AND GAMBLE (FAIRY, PANTENE ETC.) YOU ARE SUPPOURTING ANIMAL TORTURE. FAIRY ARE MURDERING SCUM DONT BUY IT! THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT LAWS THAT SAY THE ANIMAL TESTS HAVE TO BE DONE BUT P&G INSIST ON TORTURE AND MURDER. DONT BUY IT! IT BRINGS YOU OUT IN RASHES, OOOOOOOOOOH THE PAIN! PLEASE FOR THE ANIMALS, FOR THE PEOPLE, FOR THE WORLD DONT BUY PRODUCTS MADE BY SCUM. THINK OF THE RABBITS, THE HAMSTERS, THE CATS, THE DOGS. WHAT IF IT WERE YOUR PET, OR CHILD OR YOU THEY HAD TESTED ON EH? BAN FAIRY LIQUID!

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                        16.02.2002 17:31
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                        Lets get something straight. Zoos were never intended for the captive breeding of rare animals. They are there for public entertainment. If zoos were there for conservation, why do they bother to keep common animals there? I feel zoos are like animal circuses and fox hunting, cruel 'pastimes' that belong in the past, something for us to grow and learn from. Sure, the zoos in the UK are pretty clean and well-kept, compared with some of those dirt-ridden pits in some places like South America and Asia, but I would rather see a cheetah racing over a wide open plain than cooped up in a cage where it could never stretch its legs. Fair enough, many people may never get the chance to see that, but there are always documentaries, and they have the addition of actually being educational, which I feel zoos arent because it isnt showing the animal in its natural state. And OK, watching a gorilla on TV isnt the same as seeing it face to face, but think about the poor gorilla for a minute. I use Edinburgh zoo as an example, as thats where I live (in Edinburgh, not the zoo obviously!). When I was younger there was a lone male polar bear in there, his mate and cub had died. Some child managed to get their plastic toy into the bears food and it killed him. Clearly this is a sign that big wild animals and people are not meant to mix. Also at Edinburgh zoo, where the cages of many of the animals are sizable (the famous penguins for example- although the sea lions dont get quite such a good time of it), the cages of the cheetah are rectangular and woody. First of all, cheetahs dont live in woods, they live on savannahs. And there was nowhere near enough space to allow it to stretch its legs to the full. You could put the amount of times sucessful captive zoo breeding programmes have worked out onto a post-it note. And lets not forget if it werent for our cruelty and stupidity the animals wouldnt need us in the first place.

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                          06.02.2002 04:05
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                          Summer is fast approaching (honest) and outdoors trips will soon have to be thought up. The ideal place is a Zoo or Safari Park (such as Woburn). There are lots of animals to see from all over the world, most of these places offer ‘displays’, there’s ice-creams, refreshments, souvenir shops……..you name it there’s bound to be something to please everyone in the family. The different animals from around the world will be housed in their own individual cages/house/pens and fed at set times of the day. A vet is always somewhere on hand to look after sick or injured creatures and all of the staff are experts in their field. If you’re lucky you’ll visit a zoo where endangered species are being kept so that they don’t become extinct. It’s an ideal world isn’t it? Well actually NO – I don’t think it is. Until I went to live in Zimbabwe at the age of 18 I used to think that Zoo’s where fantastic places, a trip to London or Bristol Zoo, or perhaps even Woburn Safari Park would be a highlight of my summer holidays. Even during my brief ‘Animal Right’s’ phase I still couldn’t think of a bad word against Zoos. However, I then moved to Zimbabwe and my views on Zoo’s began to take a slow, but certain roundabout. In fact my views changed so much that I doubt I will even take Tafara to a Zoo when he’s older! So what’s made me change my mind? Well to make it a little easier to explain I’ll ‘try’ to split this opinion into four parts – The Pro’s of Zoos, Cons on Zoo, Pro’s of being kept in the wild, and Con’s of being left in the wild. That way I hope that it won’t to biased towards my feelings (although I can’t promise). Pro’s of Zoos. · The General Public will get a chance to visit them and learn about wild animals without having to travel too far from home · Any sick or injured animals can be treated almost immediately giving them a much higher chance of survival · Animals in Zoo are fed at regular intervals – there’s no chance of any of them (particularly the young ones) starving to death · All of the animals have warm buildings in which to sleep, especially useful for during the winter. · Rare or endangered species can be kept and hopefully bred – ensuring the species continues to thrive · All pens/enclosures are cleaned out on a regular basis ensuring that infections don’t start or spread. · A fun day out for all the family Con’s of Zoos. · Animals are kept in small enclosures, even in places such as Woburn Safari Park the animals are given a much smaller space to roam in than if they were in the wild. · It’s not natural for all the different species to live separately from each other – usually different animals depend on each other for survival. · Being fed at set times is extremely un-natural especially for hunting animals like Lions and Tigers. For a start these latter creatures hunt their food and each it fresh – they don’t have it given to them practically on a plate! · Even if a ‘tropical’ animal has been born in the UK I still think it is very unfair to expect them to have to live here during our winter. Some may argue that when it is very cold they are kept indoors…..well that’s even more cruel – they want and need space. · Animals performing displays is not natural, if Zoos want us to see these animals acting as close as possible to their natural environments then we don’t want to see them doing anything special. Pro’s of being kept in the wild · They will be in their natural environment, with as much space as they want to hunt, mate, sleep etc. · Endangered animals CAN be monitored in the wild, it is done in African Safari Parks where th e animals are ‘shot’ with a painless sedative dart and then a small transmitter is attached somewhere un-obtrusive on the animal. They are then monitored by Reserve Workers who are able to see very quickly if there’s a problem. The same people also keep an eye out for poachers – ensuring that the animals live in relative peace · Animals can hunt as they usually would. Sometimes ‘Big Cat’s’ go days in the wild without eating – it just depends on how lucky they’ve been. There’s nothing cruel about expecting them to catch their own food, as that’s how they were made. · In the wild some animals do perish due to infections or injury, or perhaps even being attacked by another creature – this is perfectly normal it’s otherwise known as the survival of the fittest and is how they lived for centuries before we started hunting them! · There’s nothing more exciting than going on a early morning, or late afternoon, Safari ride in the back of a 4x4 watching and waiting eagerly for you first sight of ‘real’ wild animals. Unlike in a Zoo you could see Elephant, Monkeys, Giraffe and Zebra all at the same time without even moving your head. After you’re finished you go back to your lodge for a nice cold beer and a braii (barbaque) – sorry just reminiscing there – lol. Con’s of being kept in the wild · It ‘can’ be a little harder to monitor the safety of rare and endangered species, especially if poaching is rife in the area. · Most families can’t afford to make a trip overseas to see them. So there you have it! My views on the pros and cons of Zoo and Safari Parks, and the pros and cons of keeping animals in the wild. I suppose Zoo’s ‘do’ have a place in educating our children about wild animals, but I think that we have FAR to many of them here in the UK. You may or may not agree with me, and before you start jumping up and down about African Safari Parks just being bigger versions think again. Most of those Safari parks don’t even have fences to mark the outmost boundaries – those that do are usually badly broken and animals often ‘escape’. So stop monkeying around and start supporting organisations that promote keeping animals where they belong – at home……..in their natural environment.

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                            28.12.2001 19:25
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                            I am certainly outraged at the amount of animals that are kept from their natural habitats. I recently visited my local zoo, and I felt so sorry especially for the orang-utans. Looking up at me with those big eyes, I could see that they were filled with rage and SADNESS!! I know, i know that it's a way of making money, but why do it?? Lets not pretend that most of the zoos in the world are keeping animals for a misplaced belief in there welfare. PETA reports that ‘Although more than 112 million people visit zoos in the United States and Canada every year, most zoos operate at a loss and must find ways to cut costs (which sometimes means selling animals) or add gimmicks that will attract visitors. Zoo officials often consider profits ahead of the animals' well-being.’ Most people love going to the zoo, I admit I do, but not now. I hear so many stories about animals being hurt. I can remember a story that happened years ago, a baby elephant was in a SMALL enclosure at Dudley Zoo, (My local zoo) and fell off the enclosure into the grassy part at the side of it. Being so weak, it couldn't climb back up the wall, the owners couldn't move it because it weighed 2 tons I think, but eventually they got a few CRANES and lifted it back up to the enclosure. Unfortunately, the poor fellow died a few days later, of course people were 'sad' at the thought of a little elephant dying, but did nothing about it. They didn't widen the enclosures for all of the other animals that were in danger of this same fault; they didn't even do anything for the elephant ENCLOSURE. When I heard about it, I was really angry and really sad at the thought of what that elephant must have gone through at that time. It is a shame that zoos do have to exist, but I think that until someone comes up with a better idea for safeguarding animal welfare then they are indeed a necessary evil. Yes, the only reasons I can find for condoning their existence is because they aid in putting right what man is himself doing wrong, and by their very nature create another wrong, but if the 'discomfort' of a few animals can help the many, then I'm afraid I have to agree with their continuing existence. No, I have to agree with the continuing existence of some of them. There is no need for places like London Zoo, or Colchester Zoo, which is a little closer to home for me, to exist. They are too small, the cages too cramped and the animals are not allowed any room to manoeuvre. This is wrong. I give you Whipsnade Zoo as a better example of how it should be done. Perhaps there needs to be some guidelines laid down, that an elephant needs however much space, a tiget this much etc. See if you can answer this question for me:- ‘How come animals DIE just to GET to a ZOO??’

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                              14.12.2001 01:33
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                              Well my opinion on zoos has changed somewhat over the last 20 years. Back then I remember going to a zoo, and seeing all the animals looking so sad. The cages were small and smelt appalling, and it was obvious that the condition were terrible. It didn't quite push me to become a member of the ALF, but it was years before I was to visit a zoo again. Now that I am a father, my children have got to the age where they are interested in learning about animals. They are full of questions when any animal documentaries come on the telly (although we try to avoid answering them when the mating scenes come on...) So we have started taking them to the zoo. We have a local one near us.. Marwell Zoo. I have to say it is excellent and has changed my opinion on zoos completely. They have definitely moved on and have changed from being an "attraction" for the public into an educational place of conservation. It has to be said that with some of the endangered species, they are far safer in a zoo. They would more than likely be faced with extinction if they were to remain in their natural habitat. This is due to the appalling way they are hunted down in certain countries for their fur, ivory, whatever.. which obviously appalls me. Most zoos have educational facilities, mainly for the children but for adults as well. Many zoos also have rescued many of the animals from people who bought them as pets and mistreated them. Another place we have been to is Monkey World in Dorset. Again excellent facilities, and it is well documented how they have rescued many animals from the wild and mistreatment. We have visited various other zoos across the country now, and the space designated for the animals has increased considerably over the years. Obviously each zoo is different, and there may be some in the UK that are not quite as spacious and are acting purely as a business, rather than a welfare concern for the animals. In general though, I have to say that in this country zoos have become far more than caged animals to view and go "Awww..." at. Many are actual rescue centres that rely on the visiting public to fund their efforts. I do appreciate however that there are still many zoos in the world, that due to lack of education or the countries treatment of animals in general means that they can be a hive of cruelty to the animals in them. In some cases it is in fact these zoos where animals are rescued to come to UK zoos. Of course it would be nice if all animals could roam free in the wild, but in many parts of the world this is unfortunately not a safe option for them. So as far as our zoos are concerned.. I have to now condone them :)

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