Animals should not be kept in zoos

By Janeidy Valentin ‘21

It was a sunny day at the Dallas Zoo as everyone was visiting the animals and having a marvelous time. Then Jabari, a male western lowland gorilla, was shot to death after escaping the award-winning gorilla-conservation area. The male gorilla attacked many people, causing many injuries and trips to the hospital.

Zoos are the place where many people go to see many beautiful animals. However, those zoos are bad in many ways; we just do not see it. Animals usually suffer from zoochosis, a term used to describe the stereotypical behavior of animals in captivity. Some of the behaviors that are seen from animals that suffer from zoochosis include vomiting, excessive grooming, eating feces and self-mutilation. These creatures die when they suffer from the condition for a very long time. Besides, from the condition called zoochosis, animals die of other things as well. “In zoos many animals sicken and die because they contract diseases from other animals and species,” as mentioned at

However, the reasons why animals die does not end with diseases. Some animals die because zoos kill them for reasons that cannot be understood. On February 9, 2014, Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark killed a two-year-old giraffe called Marius. The employees killed the giraffe because he was genetically unsuitable for future breeding. Instead of sending her to the wild or to another zoo, they killed her and fed her to the lions at the zoo. We think of zoos where many of us can learn and discover new things about animals, but it did not seem that way when they killed Marius the giraffe in front of many people, showing people how much they care about the lives of the animals.

Animals suffering from certain conditions and dying from diseases is an awful sight, but what is another awful sight is the lack of space they have in zoos. “Tigers and lions have around 18,000 times less space in zoos than they would in the wild. Polar bears have one million times less space,” as mentioned at Captive Animals’ Protection Society. The wild is a better place for the animals instead of the zoo because they can have an endless amount of space for everything that want to do like walking or even privacy. In zoos, all animals have a small amount of space, and they often never have privacy. Animals always need privacy occasionally. Zoos lack the amount of privacy for animals, especially when people are visiting the animals throughout the day.

Unfortunately, animals born at zoos do not always get to live their lives out fully, which is because of zoos not taking care of animals correctly. “Many zoos do little for research or animal protection. They are simply businesses run with the sole purpose of making money,” as mentioned at To most zoos, animals are secondary and the business is first. Zoos make profits when they charge people to visit the animals. They do not care as much of the animals as much as they do of the money they gain every day.

Sadly, there is many beautiful animals in zoos around the world. Many of them do not live their life fully, while others do. Zoos are good for people to visit the animals and enjoy their time feeding them. However, it is bad for animals because they suffer from many things while living at the zoo. We need to see from the animals’ side and finally notice how they feel and what they go through. We need to take action on the situation before it gets worse.