In 2008 at the Singapore Zoo, three white Bengal tigers attacked and mauled a zoo cleaner, Nordin bin Mondongto, to death after the man walked through a moat surrounding their enclosure. Researchers asked themselves what would be the cause of these vicious behaviors being reported from many zoos across the globe, the answer being the harsh environment zoo animals are surrounded by. Many people are not aware of the harsh treatment the animals endure. Zoos, circuses, and famous attractions like SeaWorld do not offer the best of circumstances for their animals. These uncomfortable conditions may be the cause of the hundreds of violent behaviors being reported by zoos around the world. Of course, most families enjoy taking a trip to the zoo because they offer a unique experience of encountering exotic animals. However, people need to realize that animals are living creatures that should not be forced into show, or held behind glass walls to be gawked at. The first point that this essay will address is the simple fact that zoo owners have propaganda in mind, and not preservation. “Zoos help save endangered species, by saving hurt animals and rehabilitating them,” is an excuse many zoo officials use. Zoos claim to want to protect species from extinction, which sounds like a noble goal, but zoo officials usually favor exotic or popular animals, rather than threatened or endangered local wildlife. The Chinese government, for example, “rents” pandas to zoos worldwide for fees of more than $1 million per year. It is questionable whether the profits are being directed toward panda-conservation efforts at all. Also, because tigers are the most favorable “crowd pleasers,” recent studies prove that there are more tigers in captivity than those that exist in the wild. There are thought to be between 5,000 and 10,000 tigers in U.S. cages and 90% of them are in miserable roadside zoos, backyard breeder facilities, circus wagons and pet homes. Before long, the few tigers left in...
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