Animals Locked Up: Are Zoos Inhumane?

The book Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs got me thinking… Is it right to keep animals up in cages? Sure, they have protection and free food but what would happen if the zoo was shut down? If animals were raised by birth in there, they wouldn’t know how to survive in the wild. If lets say a tiger, was born into a zoo but that zoo closed, what would happen? They might have to set the tiger free, but it wouldn’t have the skills it needs to survive. You could ship the Tiger off to another zoo but what if the tiger didn’t like the other tigers? This came to me when in Belly Up, the main character Teddy was describing how FunJungle worked.

In the book, the zoo workers sent the smell of prey (like Mice or rabbits) in the air so the animal (who had to hunt) could keep their hunting skills. That brings up the point that animals could lose their natural skills they were taught if the zoo didn’t allow them to practice. Without the skill of hunting or stalking, the animal would die in the wild. In the FunJungle, all animals were able to keep their skill of hunting so the animals are safe. But have zoos invented something that lets the animals keep their skill to hunt? That would cost a huge amount of money and some zoos wouldn’t be able to keep their animals if they used most of their money to insure the animals ability to hunt. Also, what would happen if a baby tiger had been born into a zoo, and then the zoo shut down? Would the mother of the baby tiger be shipped off into another zoo? If so, who would nurse the baby tiger? Where would the baby tiger go?

Tigers need to be able to hunt, and most animals learn like we do–by watching somebody else. Kind of like some humans learn math by watching somebody else solve a difficult problem. Visual experiences make our brain remember how the work, so if you didn’t remember or couldn’t remember how to solve a math problem using the algorithm strategize then you could remember how the other person did it and you could try to copy that person’s ways. This brings that tiger back up. If the baby tiger went to a zoo where all the tigers there were born in the zoo, that baby tiger would never learn to hunt. Besides, if and animal has good skills, they would bring in more money.

Yet there are still some good parts of animals in zoos. All the animals in the zoos have free food, protection and care. If a baby panda got sick, there would be a person right there ready to help that baby panda. If a baby panda went missing (as if they escaped) there would always be a person ready to go find it. In zoos, there is almost always somebody watching the animals, and some always ready to help the animals. But in the wild, there would never be somebody to attend to the baby pandas needs.What happens to the baby panda that went missing? Would an adult panda be ready to go searching for the baby panda? (Or, you know, the pandas could have a society we have never heard of.)