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zoos should exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/22/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,536 times Debate No: 29439
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I stand here to out rightly reject the motion "should zoos exist" .My rejection is not born out cynicism but rock solid arguments.

I do admit that some species have been saved from extinction by “captive breeding programmes”, but this offers no solution to the world wide conservation crisis.

It costs millions to save the Arabian oryx from dying out. I would like to ask the supporters of zoos weather the amount could be found for every endangered species? As regards the zoo value of zoo-breeding programmes, the very idea is questionable as some species, such as the African elephants, do not reproduce well in captivity.

Can captive animals get to enjoy their natural habitat? Are they not kept in poor and inhuman conditions in cages and enclosures and in artificial environments?

The worst thing is that zoo animals are displayed primarily for entertainment of the public. When the animals are placed in impoverished, unsuitable and noisy surroundings they often behave in abnormal ways. Polar bears in zoos are seen to constantly pace up and down or twist their heads and circle over and over again – a behaviour indicative of stress and frustration. Finally, nothing is more preposterous then to believe that when children visit zoos they are being educated. A more precise and informative impression is available to children every day through wildlife programmes on television.

Therefore I reject the motion that zoos should exist.

Thank you.



In regards to the first issue that you have with zoos, no, the amount couldn't be raised for every single endangered species. Well, at least it is highly unlikely that it can't be done. But, does that mean we shouldn't try to help those that we can? Is it wrong to give foreign aid to different countries but not all, or money to some of the homeless but not all, or adopt some of the children out there that are up for adoption but not all? No, it's completely fine to do so. We may not be able to save them all but we can try. So that point is irrelevant, (also, I believe you meant "whether" not "weather").

It is true some species don't breed well in captivity, but which is better, limited breeding in captivity until a better solution arises or extinction in the wild? I'm gonna go with the solution that keeps a species alive.

On your next point, your first question is self-fulfilling, and pointles, if they are in captivity of course they can't experience their natural habitat. So I'm not sure why that question was posed. Now, regading conditions, only in some smaller zoos is this a major issue. Many zoos have extremely well kept habitats that are designed to mock real nature well. In addition, there are many parks that are natural habitats without enclosures. That being said, it again goes to the previous points of extinction. If they can survive in captivty, it may not be ideal but it may be the only thing for now.

Lastly, many zoos offer guided tours, talks with keepers and experts on the animals and other things. Education does happen at zoos, but even if not, they are still serving the previously pointed out purposes. What is wrong with entertainment?

Debate Round No. 1


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