Are zoos really as bad as some people think?
Behind Bars: The Morality of Zoos
Sarah Bittle
The Good

Positive effects of zoos
✔
Community income from tourism
to zoos
✔
Research and education
✔
Conservation of thr...
The Bad

Negative effects of zoos
✗
Animals are put under stress if not
properly treated
✗
Stereotypies – behavioral patt...
The Negative CAN be Reversed!

Zoo Animals are Stressed by 3 Main Factors:

Harassment or overstimulation by zoo guests
...
Factor 1: Human Influence

The Problem:
•
Zoo visitors have been known to
harass and upset zoo animals,
causing aggressio...
Factor 2: Enclosure Comfort

The Problem:

The animal's habitat
does not meet its
needs, resulting in
discomfort, health...
Factor 3: Entertainment

The Problem:

Animals have nothing to
entertain themselves with,
causing them to become bored
a...
So are zoos really so bad?

Many benefits for both humans and animals
•
Humans are entertained and educated by
zoos
•
Ani...
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Research Presentation

  1. 1. Are zoos really as bad as some people think? Behind Bars: The Morality of Zoos Sarah Bittle
  2. 2. The Good  Positive effects of zoos ✔ Community income from tourism to zoos ✔ Research and education ✔ Conservation of threatened/ endangered species ✔ Saving lives of individual animals who couldn't otherwise survive in wild Omaha Zoo – Turkey Vulture
  3. 3. The Bad  Negative effects of zoos ✗ Animals are put under stress if not properly treated ✗ Stereotypies – behavioral patterns (pacing, tearing out feathers, habitual movement) developed by captive animals that can lead to mental disorders Omaha Zoo – Ringtail Lemurs
  4. 4. The Negative CAN be Reversed!  Zoo Animals are Stressed by 3 Main Factors:  Harassment or overstimulation by zoo guests  Uncomfortable enclosure  Just plain bored (lack of enrichment) The Omaha Zoo Desert Dome
  5. 5. Factor 1: Human Influence  The Problem: • Zoo visitors have been known to harass and upset zoo animals, causing aggression or anxiety • Throwing food, trash, etc • Trying to touch or get too close to animals • Disrupting animals trying to rest The Solution • Use methods to ensure distance between the animals and humans • Glass instead of wire mesh fences • Trenches/Moats to keep animals distanced from fences • Give humans a boundary that's further away than the animal's boundaries Kansas City Zoo – Children watching a polar bear do backflips
  6. 6. Factor 2: Enclosure Comfort  The Problem:  The animal's habitat does not meet its needs, resulting in discomfort, health problems, and stress • Habitat is too cold/hot • Lack of vegetation • Habitat is too small • Lack of interactive spaces  The Solution  Design a habitat with the animal's natural habitat in mind • Refrigerated/heated enclosures • Emulate native terrain (rocks, climbing structures, pools, vegetation etc.) • Give animals somewhere to hide if they want to rest • Offer various vegetation for grazing, shade, nesting, etc. Kansas City Zoo – Scarlet Macaws
  7. 7. Factor 3: Entertainment  The Problem:  Animals have nothing to entertain themselves with, causing them to become bored and restless  The Solution  Many zoos provide enrichment activities and toys to entertain their animals ● Hiding treats throughout enclosure ● Toys such as blankets, balls, swings, etc ● Scheduled time to work with zookeepers for projects such as painting Kansas City Zoo – Meerkats
  8. 8. So are zoos really so bad?  Many benefits for both humans and animals • Humans are entertained and educated by zoos • Animals are protected both as individuals and as a species  Raises awareness about conservation programs in the wild  Negative effects can be easily prevented if proper precautions are taken Kansas City Zoo – Lionesses
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