Are zoos ethical?

Are zoos ethical?

Ella Pope, Opinions Writer

The question of whether or not zoos are ethical is a question that has been debated for multiple years. Many argue that it is wrong to keep animals out of their natural habitat and put them on display while people gawk. Others say that zoos are necessary for some animal species to survive and are not just for human entertainment. In my opinion, neither of these opinions are wrong because some zoos are good and others are bad.


Many zoos around the USA are unethical and hurt the animals instead of helping them. Roadside zoos are a great example of a bad type of zoo. They typically keep animals in small, dirty cages. These zoos are purely for human entertainment and harm the animals. The animals at these zoos usually are inadequately fed and denied medical care. A more famous example of an unethical zoo is SeaWorld. SeaWorld was discovered to be mistreating the animals in various ways. One of the animals that was most mistreated were orcas. At least 43 orcas have died at SeaWorld. Many more animals have also been mistreated and died. They also overwork dolphins and force them to do tricks in shows every day. Nearly 300 dolphi

ns (excluding orcas) have died at SeaWorld. Luckily, not all zoos are like this.


While bad zoos exist, it is also important to recognize that not all zoos mistreat animals. Ma

ny zoos focus on conservation and education rather than fancy shows for human entertainment. Federal zoos have different laws than roadside zoos, and this makes most of them much more ethical. One example of a good zoo is the San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Zoo is a non-profit, which is already a good thing. They focus on education and informing people about different endangered animals. They also breed animals in captivity, but not in the way that places like SeaWorld do. When they breed the animals, it is done to help the animals and hopefully help them not go extinct. The San Diego Zoo is only one of many zoos that are there to help the animals.


Not all zoos are bad and plenty are there to help animals. The media shows lots of unethical zoos but not all zoos are like that. Zoos that focus on the conservation of endangered species do a lot for animals and wildlife. Zoos are the reason some animals are not extinct, and it is important to remember that when thinking about unethical zoos.