When the incident of Harambe’s killing came to the spotlight, a lot of activists pointed out that the concept of zoos is flawed. People voiced their opinions saying how keeping an animal away from their natural habitat is not just unfair but also unhealthy for them. But the majority of mishaps sparking such debates only happen with zoos whose officials are extremely unethical and cruel while doing their job. There still exists a good batch of these zoos who work towards improving the living conditions and conservation of animals. In today’s times when human beings are encroaching on spaces belonging to the wild, it isn’t all that bad to provide another habitat to animals in the form of zoos.
Zoos are hosts for breeding programs which go a long way in preserving the genetic biodiversity of our planet. There have been instances where zoos have reintroduced species which were killed off like the Arabian Onyx. This particular animal has since been taken off the endangered list of species. These could easily be termed as insurance policies for certain species which go extinct in the wild.
An extremely important role a zoo plays is to house certain species inside which would have perished and erased off the face of the earth if they were left to the outside world. 39 species of animals are listed as Extinct in the wild by IUCN but still survive in captive populations. Botanical gardens play a similar role in preserving species of plants.
It is difficult for us to have any correlation or link with nature with the busy lifestyles all of us lead. The rush in our lives makes us out of touch with our neighbors in the wild. A visit to the zoo is a favorite essay topic in the English Language exam but its significance is much higher.700 million people were said to have visited zoos worldwide in 2014 and that number has only risen ever since.
International conservation projects for wildlife are pretty difficult to provide strength to. This funding can get easier to attain once people come closer to zoos and experience wildlife. This creates an emotional link which then harnesses their effort to help the conservation cause.
Zoos can act as a living library where people can go and learn about different species of animals. Captive populations should be regarded as being present in a controlled environment where if any diverse situations affect them, people can act and learn how to take care of them in the real environment.
There are numerous zoos which take the effort of setting up centers to preserve amphibians and make sure that a breeding programme works well. This helps us respond to threats like habitat loss for our friends who cannot express their problems.
There are times where conservation specialists feel low and zoos are great examples of how their efforts haven’t gone in vain by looking at certain species extinct in the wild but thriving in captivity!