Zoos have always been viewed as fun outings for friends and families, but with the rise of the media, the actual treatment of animals has been uncovered. There are countless outrageous cases of animal cruelty within zoos, in countries all around the world. Some of the most shocking are penguins being on anti-depressants, illegal animals being imported without permits and giraffes being sold to questionably safe travelling circuses. All of these examples are proof that not all zoos can be controlled, and that these inhumane acts will always be happening, whether on small or large scales, behind closed doors for the purpose of profit.
Another important reason would be the quickly deteriorating psychological state of animals in zoos. No matter how big and beautiful, an exhibit in the middle of a bustling city will be nothing compared to the vast savanna to a lion. Having to run around all day in a small confined state causes serious damage to the mental state of the animal, especially if they used to live in a natural habitat before. Aquariums also have the same downside. To an orca, where they live is the size of a small swimming pool whereas it used to live in a huge ocean. It is simply unfair to put animals in this position; imagine if we were forced to do the same?
Confinement leads to stress, boredom, depression and other unnatural behaviour in all kinds of animals. This alone is a sign that we have no right to infringe upon the freedom of innocent animals. Other reasons zoos are a bad idea are that they give children the impression that keeping animals in captivity is acceptable and humane, on average, animals kept in captivity have shorter lifespans than in the wild, and animals can sometimes escape enclosures, causing huge safety problems for people and the animals.
For all these reasons and more, I believe animals should not be kept in zoos, and we should start moving towards a global ban on them. Instead, we could have more sanctuaries, temporary habilitation for injured wild animals. Families could visit these instead as there is mostly a guarantee that the animals are being treated properly in them.
I can tell you that there is no way on earth that zoos will ever beable to provide what animals naturally need. They will never beable to give large wild animals the space that they have in the wild - this is my main concern as most animals are naturally programmed to roam and not being able to do this could lead to mental health problems and frustration. Also, children screaming and banging on the glass and cameras flashing can't be good for this stress.
We keep living, conscious, being inside cages with a very limited number of others, for almost solely to just watch them for entertainment. Especially considering how many cases there are of animal cruelty in zoos, it is unethical to keep them. The only acceptable zoo I can think of is one used for biology or ecology.
Zoos are a terrible idea. I am full on that side of the argument. But, the thing is, we already have zoos. They're here, full of animals, many now born in captivity. There animals (born in captivity) have been captive all their lives. They can't be sent back to the wild, and all they know is their life in the zoo. In my opinion, no new animals should be brought into zoos - for the sake of the gods, no! (does that still happen?!). Animal cruelty is no acceptable, but zoos have regulations. If they are not kept, that particular zoo is to blame, not all zoos, and that zoo should be shut down.
There is a certain level of education that people get from zoos...I don't know. I wouldn't ban zoos globally if I had the change, only prohibit the capture of new animals.
Zoos are needed to get people interested in the natural world and to provide care for endangered animals without the danger of poachers, disease and other things. Without zoos many animal species would now be extinct. Anyone who thinks that zoos are not needed is contradicting themselves. If they say they are animal lovers they are probably lying because they've either been to a zoo and made a judgement without research or haven't been to any zoo. An how can you love something you've never seen?