SLE355 Zoological Field Studies

SLE355 Zoological Field Studies

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SLE355 Zoological Field Studies

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SLE355 Zoological Field Studies

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Course Code: SLE355
University: Deakin University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


What value do zoos serve? Today, most of the zoos in the country provide animals with habitats modeled after their native habitats. From a visitor’s perspective, the animals appear to roam freely. Yet, there are those who argue it is unethical to remove an animal from its native habitat. Regardless of how well-designed the zoo’s habitats are, the animals are still “captive” and denied their rights to freedom (Maple, Terry and Bonnie). Zoo advocates argue that zoos provide education and awareness to the general public as to the importance of preserving endangered species, while providing the opportunity for important research that can contribute to the creatures’ viability. After considering the economical, ethical, and scientific issues surrounding zoos, present an argument “for” or “against” such facilities.


The aim of the essay is to conduct a comparative analysis on the existence of zoo. Thus the essay presents two different arguments. While one argument presents the argument in favor of the existence of zoo, the other will talk in against of the existence of zoo. Hence, the essay will start the discussion on present scenario of zoo and gradually proceeds with analysation. The argument centers on the open zoom, where animals can roam freely. However, some school of thought still considers this idea open zoo as unethical since animals remain captive there (Pearson et al.). At the same time other school of thought is of the opinion zoo provides awareness as well education to the general public regarding the importance of preservation of endangered species. In addition they also think that zoo provides the opportunity of research which contributes to the animal’s viability. Hence, the analysis will present an argument after considering the issues in terms of ethical, scientifically and economical. The whole course of the discussion follows a summarization of the study.
In order to begin the discussion, the present scenario of zoo in the country needs to be discussed. Over the last decade, with an aim of creating natural habitat, many zoos have been blossomed in the United States designed with open aviaries, fake rocks and rivers (West and Nigel). However, the newly emerged idea of zoo is to create bioclimatic zoo which refers to the concept of keeping animals in group but not in the taxonomical manner rather by natural habitat. The natural habitat can be rain forest, desert, and tundra and so on. The Sun Dieogo Zoo is one such zoo with a simulation of a rain forest portraying a wide range of flora and fauna of Asian forest within a single setting (Friese). The Bronx Zoo meanwhile is another zoo with the features of natural habitat with forest feature so that animals can roam freely and the endangered species can be preserved.
Hence, it is evident that the new trend of the zoo has been established with the aim to make people realize of the importance of wild animals and their issues. The establishment of open zoo or natural habitat is to convey the message that animals should not be captivate, rather they should be left to roam and naturally (Keulartz). The main idea of the zoo is to conserve the species and generate awareness within general public regarding the importance their contribution to the conservation of animals, mainly of the endangered species (Fennell). In addition, through conservation, zoo educates the society how to behave properly with the animals. Zoo also provides security to the existence of animals. An animal in zoo is way more secured than an animal roams outside the zoo.
However, according to Fennell, it is also true that zoo began as the form of menageries with an aim to provide amusement to the general public. Gradually over the time the purpose of zoo has evolved from a mere intention of providing amusement to the conservation, research and educating people (Friese). Zoo contributes significantly in the field of research since animals remains under supervision. Under supervision, the animals are screened. The people responsible for supervision observe the animals, their habits and habitual changes under different circumstances. The supervisors or researchers obtain the idea of the right way to conserve the species (Keulartz,). The researchers also understand the difference between species and then develop conserving process accordingly. Observation play a crucial role in the process of conserving species as it helps to diagnose and treat the animals properly. As per Bowkett, professionally trained personnel are appointed to take care of the animals while the animals fall ill. On the whole, zoo provides protection to the animals and generates awareness in society so that every people in society take initiative to save animals and their rights. It is said that the primary purpose of zoo is to create a separate space for the animals within the society.
However, there are critics who strongly oppose the notion of zoo it captivate the animals. Whether it is traditional zoo or new bioclimatic zoo, the free will of the animals get affected (Devlin). Even in an open zoo free from cages, where animals can roam freely without any restrictions, limits are imposed on the movement of the animals. As mentioned earlier, Pearson suggests zoo contributes altogether in the field of research since animals stays under supervision. Under supervision, the animals are screened. The individuals in charge of supervision keep observation on the animals, their propensities and constant changes under various conditions. The researchers or scientists acquire the possibility of the correct method to save the species. The analysts likewise comprehend the contrast among species and after that provide needful conservation strategies accordingly. As per Dohn, monitoring is an essential job during the time spent monitoring species as it determinations and treat the animals legitimately. However, opposing the concept of zoo, Moorhouse et al. stated that the artificial habitant can never replace the natural habitat since animals grow up in that environment and are adjusted with the environment. The major challenge that the animals face is concerning to the adjustment with the new environment. When the animals are shifted to a new place from their native place several disorders are caused such as infection, disease, depression and so on. Minteer and James argues that human awareness regarding the conservation of animals does not need to be through the establishment of zoo. Awareness can be generated within the general people of society when people will leave them undisturbed in their own habitat. Devlin further argued that a specie extinct following the natural system and human interference in that natural process rather create difficulties in that process. Hence they oppose the concept of zoo as it is completely against of the cycle of environment.
However, the factor which provides support to the notion of non existence of zoo centers on the opposition towards the captivation of the animals within a certain boundary (Moorhouse et al.). Even in case of open zoo or safari parks where animals are left free to roam, certain limitations are imposed on them which violate the animal rights. The major aspect which strongly supports the non existence of zoo is the human interference. Whether it is zoo or safari park, it is meant for public amusement. People often visit safari parks, zoos and the forest areas for the purpose of amusement. In order to do that the animals are disturbed and often it ends up resulting unpleasant incidents like animal attack on common people.
Regardless of whether it is customary zoo or new bioclimatic zoo, the existence of the animals gets influenced (Devlin). Even in an open zoo free from cages, where animals can wander uninhibitedly with no confinements, limits are forced on the movement of the animals and their normal development. Contradicting the idea of zoo, Devlin further expressed that the man made habitant can never supplant the regular territory since animals spent childhood in that condition and learn to balance. The significant challenge that the animals confront is the fear and unwillingness of adjustment with the new condition. At the point when the animals are moved to another place from their local place a few issues are occurred, for example, contamination, ailment, discouragement etc. Devlin contended that human awareness in regards to the protection of animals should not be through the foundation of zoo. Awareness can be created inside the general individuals of society when human will abandon them undisturbed in their own living space (Minteer and James). The environtalists contended that specie terminated after the characteristic framework and human obstruction in that regular procedure rather make troubles in that procedure. Subsequently they contradict the idea of zoo as it is totally against of the cycle of condition (Keulartz).
It is apparent that the new concept of the zoo has been built up with the intention to influence individuals to acknowledge of the significance of wild animals and their issues. The foundation of open zoo or normal environment is to pass on the message that animals should not to be exploited, rather they should be left to wander naturally. The fundamental thought of the zoo is to moderate the species and create awareness within the population with respect to the significance their commitment to the preservation of animals, for the most part of the jeopardized species. Moreover, through preservation, zoo teaches the general public how to act legitimately with the animals.
Thus, in order conclude it is apt to state that the purpose of the essay was to lead a near examination on the presence of zoo. Consequently the study presents two unique contentions. While one contention introduced the contention for the presence of zoo, the other talked in against of the presence of zoo. The persons in charge of supervision keep a close conservation on the creatures and their routine changes under various conditions through which the specialists get the possibility of the correct method to preserve the species. The specialists likewise comprehend the contrast among species and after that create saving procedure as needed. Therefore, the discussion began with the discussion on present situation of zoo and steadily continues with further analysis. The contention revolves around the open zoom, where creatures can meander uninhibitedly. Meanwhile, the discussion also presents the opposite theory as some school of thought still considers the thought of open zoo as exploitative since creatures stay in hostage. In the meantime the study also states that zoo gives awareness along with training to the overall population in regards to the significance of protection of imperiled species. Moreover they feel that zoo gives the chance of research which adds to the creature’s feasibility. Subsequently, the examination introduced a contention in the wake of thinking about the issues as far as moral, scientifically and efficient.
Bowkett, A. E. “Ex situ conservation planning is more complicated than prioritizing the keeping of threatened species in zoos.” Animal Conservation 17.2 (2014): 101-103.
Devlin, Ann Sloan. Environmental Psychology and Human Well-Being: Effects of Built and Natural Settings. Academic Press, 2018.
Dohn, Niels Bonderup. “Upper secondary students’ situational interest: A case study of the role of a zoo visit in a biology class.” International Journal of Science Education35.16 (2013): 2732-2751.
Fennell, David A. “Contesting the zoo as a setting for ecotourism, and the design of a first principle.” Journal of Ecotourism 12.1 (2013): 1-14.
Friese, Carrie. Cloning wild life: zoos, captivity, and the future of endangered animals. NYU Press, 2013.
Keulartz, Jozef. “Captivity for conservation? Zoos at a crossroads.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics28.2 (2015): 335-351.
Maple, Terry L., and Bonnie M. Perdue. Zoo animal welfare. Berlin: Springer, 2013.
Minteer, Ben A., and James P. Collins. “Ecological ethics in captivity: Balancing values and responsibilities in zoo and aquarium research under rapid global change.” Ilar Journal54.1 (2013): 41-51.
Moorhouse, Tom, Neil C. D’Cruze, and David W. Macdonald. “Unethical use of wildlife in tourism: what’s the problem, who is responsible, and what can be done?.” Journal of Sustainable Tourism 25.4 (2017): 505-516.
Pearson, Elissa L., Jillian Dorrian, and Carla A. Litchfield. “Measuring zoo visitor learning and understanding about orangutans: evaluation to enhance learning outcomes and to foster conservation action.” Environmental Education Research 19.6 (2013): 823-843.
Ventre, Jeffrey, and John Jett. Killer whales, theme parks and controversy: An exploration of the evidence. Channel View Publications: Bristol, United Kingdom, 2015.
West, Gary, Darryl Heard, and Nigel Caulkett, eds. Zoo animal and wildlife immobilization and anesthesia. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.

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