Zoos are Prison Camps for Animals and Should be Shut Down


Zoo is the place where people keep animals out of ordinary natural habitat against their will. At the first sight, it seems that animals are protected, feel themselves in complete safety and happy with their location in captivity. There are plenty of personnel that groom and feed them. All days long, people come to zoos in order to look at animals and show their best feelings and smiles. The conditions of each zoo remind a little piece of nature within the stone buildings of the city. However, it is not exactly as perfect as it seems when people step on the territory of the zoo. Instead of real pleasure and joy of life, animals feel themselves completely alone and tired of the little amount of space they live in. Animals which are taken from their natural habitat and put into cages will never be happy within a zoo territory. All zoos around the world should be shut down in order to escape the mental deterioration and suffering of animals that live in captivity due to human business interests.


It is not difficult to do an experiment and put a human being into a small room and for the rest of his or her life and make it impossible to open the door and get out of it somewhere. It is easy to imagine how sad this person would be if he or she has never had the ability to see the whole family. This person would not have an opportunity to engage in any important matters such as work, family, or even to choose what to eat for dinner. It should be assumed that any person would get angry in such conditions. It is well known that the vast majority of animals have a serious problem with mental health. The abnormal behavior in animals can be accompanied with pulling out hair and rocking it back and forth. “Many chimpanzees housed in zoos show abnormal behavior that suggest mental illness, according to a new PLoS One study” (Viegas, 2011).

Animals that suffer from mental illness behave in much the same way as insane people. They frantically rush within the places of their detention or endlessly shake their heads. Sometimes they bite the bars of their cells, or even scratch and torture themselves. This mental illness is the result of severe stress caused by painful feelings of depression and helplessness. The vast majority of people who visit zoos do not think about suffering of animals at all. Only little amount of them know the truth about their suffering life. In search of leisure for the whole family, parents bring their children to the zoo in order to take a look at little animals. While looking at them, they move on and probably will never remember about these animals in the future.

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For owners of the zoos, animals are nothing more than a great opportunity to earn money. As any type of business, each zoo brings a huge profit to its owners. Very often the way in which people earn money does not provide the care about animals. There is a tendency in the world business practice to shorten any possible expenses on manufacture or services in order to increase the final profit. The example could be the food industry which adds cheap chemical components to the food in order to decrease the final cost of food production. The fact is that it continues to sell final products with the old prices. The same picture we can observe in a zoo when its owner tries to shorten the expenses while feeding animals with a smaller amount of food which is usually cheap and not nourishing. In order to get extra money, some zoo owners sell animals not only to other zoos, but also to different hunting facilities, circuses or are even taken for slaughter (Roleff, 1999). It happens very often as animals give birth to their children which serve as extra expenses for zoo owners. These unwanted animals raise a serious ethical issue of animal rights.

Therefore, zoo owners decide that they do not deserve to have the right for living. A horrible story was revealed in one of the Sweden zoos where keepers killed some animals in order to save on veterinary fees. “A zoo where keepers killed animals using baseball bats and crowbars – in a bid to save on veterinary fees – has now been accused of feeding parts of the dead creatures to Polish guest workers” (Malm). This example shows that people are ready to sacrifice the life of animals in order to get their own benefits.

The position of zoo owners to get extra money by providing animals with a smaller amount of appropriate food is another reason why zoos should be banned. Without a doubt, there are many zoos which follow the daily and weekly diet plan for each animal with all necessary vitamin supplements. However, the opposite opinion could be said about other zoos where animals are not fed well and live in poor conditions. It is also important to notice that those zoo owners which tell about the presence of dietary sheet do not always follow it. Additionally, those feeding programs are less successful as many zoos workers and owners constantly tell to the public. The lack of food and water leads to the spread of different diseases among animals and is the real cause of their early death. In addition to this problem, there is an extra one which is characterized by the negative attitude of the personnel towards animals. People who work in zoos are not always satisfied with their salaries and job positions. Consequently, they very often express their anger on animals.

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The supporters of zoo facilities always claim about benefits that animals in cages bring to the modern society. They are sure that zoos bring animals and people together with the purpose of educating the public and especially children. In their opinion, zoos can motivate people to protect the rights of animals. Zoos serve as a safe environment for endangered species which suffer from starvation, habitat loss, and predators in wild nature. Some people are convinced that a zoo is one of the best places for family visit where the all members can see the rare and unusual animals in person from different parts of the world. Thus, a zoo is a great opportunity to find a secure place for living for those animals which were abandoned or rescued from death in nature. “Both the Baltimore Zoo and the Detroit Zoo have taken in polar bears rescued from a traveling circus, and Bronx Zoo took in an orphaned snow leopard from Pakistan in 2007” (Horton, 2013).


Despite the fact that zoos in some way provide educational and entertaining opportunities for children and adults, it is not a reason to keep them out of natural habitat in the limited space. It would be better to watch documentary films about wildlife and observe the life of animals without disturbing them. In this way, people can actually learn how animals communicate with each other, feed, and protect themselves from predators. Nevertheless, zoos could play an important role in helping animals. From prisons, they can turn into sanctuaries and nature reserves for those animals which are rescued from research in laboratories or other places where they are abused. People need to stop breeding animals and keeping them away from their natural habitats because each animal in the same way as a human being should have the right for its own freedom.