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Animal Captivity

Animal Captivity: Should It Be Illegal? Hannah Abes Towne Meadow Elementary May 13, 2010


Animal Captivity

Abstract My report is about animal captivity and why it should be banned in all countries. I will explain what animal captivity is, how people do it, and important things dealing with animal captivity. I will also explain how animal captivity affects humans and animals, how keeping animals in captivity can cause illnesses, and the behavior of animals in captivity. I will share some examples of different animals in captivity and everything that affects them that I mentioned above. Also, I will state my opinion about animal captivity, which I do think is wrong and should be illegal. Since the animals are locked up in small spaces each day, and any behavior, activity, contact with other animals and meals are unlike normal life, the animals do not get to experience what it is like to live a real life, especially if they were born in captivity.


Animal Captivity Animal Captivity Have you ever heard the words: “Animal Captivity,” but weren’t exactly sure what it was or meant? Animal captivity could be many things, like animal cruelty. When animals are in captivity, it means they are taken from the wild, and put into small areas of land or water, for example, a zoo. When people go to the zoo, or somewhere that animals are kept, they might not think that this animal was trained to do something when they usually can’t, or this animal doesn’t belong here, it belongs in the wild. Instead, they might say something like how cute an animal is, or ask if they can feed it. When you go to a zoo, most likely you are going there to see animals that are far away from their natural habitat. In my opinion, their natural habitat is the only place they belong. Animals should not be stuck in a cage or zoo, but they should be out in the wild. Imagine if the roles were reversed. Humans would be the ones stuck in cages and small areas of land. People would want to get out of it because they don’t like it, they would want the other animals to release them from their prison like cage, and they would want to be out in the wild with their families. That’s how most animals feel because they’re stuck in the cages, not us. Animal are sent from all around the world to be put in zoos. They are often put in boxes that may be uncomfortable. This could injure them very badly, or even cause death. After all, how would you feel if instead of flying comfortably on a plane, you were put in a box? This wouldn’t have


Animal Captivity happened if there were no zoos or other places where animals are held captive; they wouldn’t have to be shipped across the world just for people to look at. People could easily find a picture on the Internet, or if they travel to a different country, they could find out where they would be able to see a certain animal. A lot of wild animals are also kept as pets, which could be considered animal captivity. For example, a household might own a lizard. The lizard was probably sent from another country to a pet store. To be sent it could be put into a small closed bag that would be put in a box, along with other bags containing lizards. From there it could be sent on a plane, where the box could get damaged, and the fragile reptiles could die (The Humane Society of the United States, N/A). There was no reason at all for the lizards to be killed, yet they were. These are only a few reasons why I think animal captivity should be illegal. Illness/ Health, Injury, Death Animals in captivity can cause illnesses/ health problems, injury, and even death. This includes the animals and humans. When we keep animals in captivity, it means that we are keeping more sicknesses around us. Animals may carry an illness that we may not be aware of, and before we know it, someone who has been around a wild animal is sick. For example, all reptiles carry salmonella. Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause many diseases such as food poisoning. Salmonella is most


Animal Captivity likely to affect younger children, which is why they are not a good idea to have as pets (The Humane Society of the United States, N/A). Another example is about the orca that killed 2 of its trainers at SeaWorld. They think it was because of stress from being in captivity. If SeaWorld would not have kept the large, and dangerous animal in captivity, 2 people would still be alive, and the orca would be where it should be (Kade, 2010). Mammals that live under water spend about 10- 20% of their time in water. In captivity, the water is so shallow that they might spend most of their time at the surface. Staying above the water can result in skin disease.

Also, without enough water, orca’s dorsal fin can collapse. A

dorsal fin is a fin on the back of the animal. This happens to most males and some females in captivity, and to almost no orcas in the wild. This causes many deaths, along with stress related deaths and many other causes (The Humane Society of the United States, N/A). Everything is Unfamiliar Have you ever been to a completely unfamiliar place? Were you lost, confused, or even scared? If you have, then you know how the animals feel when they are first brought to captivity. They feel weird because they are in an unfamiliar place, and surrounded by people is also unusual for them. They are in an environment they are not used to, surrounded by things they are not used to. If you have ever felt like this, you would probably agree


Animal Captivity that this is not the best feeling you have had. You may have acted in a different way too, and animals will also act differently. When animals are in captivity, they don’t get to do normal, everyday things. They don’t get to experience what it would be like to live their whole life in the wild, and they most likely don’t like it. Lots of money is spent on making the fake Eco- systems and environments, when those businesses could save lots of money if they didn’t have to build the environments. Therefore, a lot of money would be saved, and the animals don’t have to live in captivity. Finally, the behaviors of the animals are not normal. For instance, an animal might act one way in natural surroundings, and differently in captivity. In captivity, an animal doesn’t have to hunt for food because they are fed regularly by people.

Some animals can be naturally/ inherently

unable to be in captivity which can cause mental and physical disorders (Rose, N/A). I Don’t Feel Well! Sometimes when we don’t feel well, we want to be away from others. What if an animal doesn’t feel well and they want to be away from every one? This is almost impossible because they might be in a pet store where people always look at the animals. In a zoo, people stop to stare at the fascinating animals for multiple minutes, or they might even be locked up in a cage, where they are constantly checked on.


Animal Captivity In captivity, animals might feel stressed, sick, or want more privacy. They might want to be with their family, do every day activities, or just have a normal life. Many animals die because they are so stressed in captivity; in fact, carnivores seem to show the most stress in captivity (Clubb & Mason, 2003). Next, it’s very easy for animals to become sick in captivity. They might not get enough exercise, or have a different diet because they don’t get to hunt for the food they want. Instead, they are being given the same food every day. They are more likely to have problems because of things like this in captivity. Animals have to live in small habitats in captivity. They are not used to it because in the wild, the room they have is unlimited. Being in a small area of space for a long time can feel uncomfortable, or even boring. The animals, as mentioned before, don’t get as much exercise because they have a limited amount of space. They don’t have as much room to move around and play. They don’t even get to live around other animals in their habitat. Conclusion In conclusion, I think that animal captivity is wrong and should be illegal. Many people and animals become ill, injured, and die from animals in captivity, animals in captivity are basically living in a fake environment, and they are unfamiliar with their feelings and “home”. Animals deserve to be let in the wild. They didn’t do anything to us, so why are we treating


Animal Captivity them so horribly, or locking them up? Also, animals contribute to their ecosystem. Without one animal, another animal might not have any food. Another animal might help plants grow, or help the ground, but when they aren’t in their natural habitat, they can’t help. Many people think that animals are better off in captivity because they don’t have to worry about predators (when we actually are one predator to them), or other harmful things, when more animals are actually dying in captivity. Even though some animals may be sick, or need to be in the care of humans because they need special care doesn’t mean that every animal should be put in captivity. Would you like it if every single day, you were locked up in a cage, unable to move, and doing the same things all the time? I don’t think you would!


Animal Captivity Bibliography Absolute Astronomy. (2010, N/A N/A). Environmental Enrichment. Retrieved April 20, 2010, from Absolute Astronomy Web Site: Absolute Astronomy. (N/A, N/A N/A). Captivity (animal). Retrieved April 20, 2010, from Absolute Astronomy: Barlett, A. D. (n.d.). Wild Animals in Captivity. In A. D. Barlett, Wild Animals in Captivity. Bostock, S. S. (1993). Zoos and Animal Rights: The Ethics of Keeping Animals. In S. S. Bostock, Zoos and Animal Rights: The Ethics of Keeping Animals (pp. 119-123). New York: Routledge. Choo, K. Y. (N/A, N/A N/A). Keeping Animals In Captivity vs. Keeping Animals in the Wild. Retrieved April 16, 2010, from Education Reform Web site: Clubb, R., & Mason, G. (2003). Captivity Effects on Wide- Ranging Carnivores. Nature, 473. Gibbson, J. E., Wyres, E. J., Waters, E., & Menzel, J. W. (1994). Naturalistic Environments in Captivity for Animal Behavior Research. In J. E. Gibbson, E. J. Wyres, E. Waters, & J. W. Menzel, Naturalistic Environments in Captivity for Animal Behavior Research (pp. 1-18). Albany: State Universty of New York Press, Albany. Jacmenovic, M. (2004, Sptember 2). Baby Turtles and Children: A Dangerous Combination. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from The Humane Society of the United States Web site: Kade, A. (2010, February 25). Animals in Captivity Teach Us a Lot About Humanity. Retrieved April 18, 2010, from All Voices Web site: Roberts, A. M. (2008, March 31). Zoochotic: Is Keeping Wild Animals in Captivity Crazy? Retrieved April 18, 2010, from Born Free USA: Rose, N. A. (N/A, N/A N/A). Whales, Dolphins Don't Belong in Tanks. Retrieved April 22, 2010, from The Society of the United States: whales_dolphins_dont_belong.html The Humane Society of the United States. (2009, Speptember 25). Held Captive: Orcas. Retrieved April 22, 2010, from The Humane Society of the United States: The Humane Society of the United States. (2009, July 15). Statement on Wild Animals. Retrieved April 27, 2010, from The Humane Society of the United States Web site:


Animal Captivity 10 animals_as_pets The Humane Society of the United States. (N/A, N/A N/A). Captive Wild Animals. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from Humane Sosiety of the United States Web site: The Humane Society of the United States. (N/A, N/A N/A). Exotic Pets. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from The Humane Society of the United States: The Humane Society of the United States. (N/A, N/A N/A). Marine Mammals in Captivity. Retrieved April 22, 2010, from The Humane Society of the United States:

Animal Captivity  
Animal Captivity  

Is Animal Captivity Right or Wrong?