Are Zoos Good or Bad for Animals?

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Starting thousands of years ago, zoos attracted large crowds around the world (Fravel). Because of that, everyone today has seen, been to, or heard of a zoo at least once in their lifetime. However, people are missing valuable information that they need to know about zoos today. Do the zoos really do what most people think?
There are 2,400 animal enclosures licensed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, however only 212 are under strict requirements from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA); keep in mind that those numbers only involve the zoos in the United States (Fravel). Zoos should be banned around the world because they do not do what they promise when it comes to conserving the animals, they cause the animals to develop psychological disorders, and they do not have the means and resources to properly care for the animals.
Zoos today say that one of their main goals is to conserve endangered species and eventually reintroduce them back into the wild. However, Benjamin Beck, former associate director of biological programs at the National Zoo in Washington, found that over the past century only 16 of 145 reintroduction programs worldwide ever actually restored any of the animals back to the wild (qtd. in Fravel). He also found that a majority was carried out by the government and not the actual programs themselves. Beck noted that the billions of dollars the zoos were receiving were going towards hi-tech exhibits and marketing strategies to get people to go to the zoos. So which zoos are actually attempting to save the lives they claim to be? According to David Hancocks, a former zoo director with 30 years’ experience, many zoos that are not affiliated with the AZA do not spend hardly any of their fu...

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