Putting animals in zoos is a great idea. It provides a valuable opportunity to teach kids and really anyone about animal species from faraway places. The Internet, documentaries and books are all good, but there is no substitute for seeing real animals in a reconstruction of their native habitats to help one's appreciation of the world.
Zoos can be established and maintained in a wholesome and appropriate manner for the benefit of animals. This particularly is the case when comes to animals that are on the endangered list. In addition, provided zoos are appropriately fashioned to meet the needs of their animal residents, these facilities provide the public a unique opportunity to appreciate world around them. In the end, by seeing animals first hand in zoos, many people become more supportive of promoting the welfare of wildlife.
No, animals should not be caged in zoos. Though animals are not as intelligent as humans, they should be respected. Part of that respect involves allowing them to roam free in their natural habitats. Zoo animals, no matter how naturalistic their enclosures, lose a large part of their quality of life when trapped in cages.
While zoos are not ideal environments, they do serve a purpose in that they are able to help endangered animals continue to thrive. Without zoos, they animals will have long since ceased to have existed. Some endangered animals that are bred in zoos, once raised, are eventually released back into the wild.