Should Wild Animals Be Kept In Captivity?

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On February 24, 2010, Trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by a captive killer whale which dragged her into its tank (McCarthy). This is not the only case where a trainer of ordinary person has been put in harm’s way because what is supposed to be a wild animal is being held in captivity. Wild animals should not be kept in captivity because it can lead to mental illness and abnormal behavior.
Capturing wild animals for entertainment is not a new practice; it has been going on for years. In fact, “136 killer whales were captured in the wild and held in captivity since the first on in 1961” (McCarthy). This number, 136, only represents killer whales; there are plenty of other species being captured. To imagine the magnitude of captured animals just multiply 136 by 6,000, the number of species currently in captivity. Additionally, since the 1970s, twenty-four people have been attacked by a whale in captivity (McCarthy). Therefore, not only is there a history of animal captivity, but since 1961 when the first whale was captured, there has also been a history of whale attacks. Similarly, “in 25 year period at the Houston Zoo, 14 out of 14 elephant calves have died [due to artificial breeding]” (O’Connor). For twenty-five years, the zoo has continually put the elephants through a treatment that has only failed; therefore, putting the animal at risk. However, amidst the amplifying number of whale attacks, the “justification of aquariums has grown weaker and weaker” (“The Great Whale”). Aquariums are being held more accountable for their actions, so that we can prevent tragedies. The captivity debate has been going on for a long time and it is time to start making changes to try and prevent abnormal behavior and mental illness in animals....

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Works Cited

"The Great Whale-In-Jail Debate." Maclean's Magazine (2010): n.pag. SIRS. Web. 4 Apr 2014.
"India Bans Captive Dolphin Shows As 'Morally Unacceptable'." Environment News Service (2013): n. pag. SIRS. Web. 4 Apr 2014.
McCarthy, Michael. "Should We Be Keeping Animals Such As Killer Whales In Captivity?" The Independent (2010): 50. SIRS. Web. 7 Apr 2014.
O'Connor, Jennifer. "Zoo's Dirty Little Secret." PETA (2014): n.pag. SIRS. Web. 4 Apr 2014.
Rising, Malin. “Thousands Of Zoo Animals Killed In Europe Yearly.” Asbury Park Press (2014): n.pag. SIRS. Web. 10 April 2014
Winders, Delcianna. "Zoos: Misery Behind Bars." PETA (2013): n.pag. SIRS. Web. 7 Apr 2014.
"Zoos Should Save, Not Kill." Los Angeles Times (2014): n.pag. SIRS. Web. 4 Apr 2014.
“Zoos To Breed Chimpanzees Despite Cruelty Warning.” The Independent (2011): n.pag. SIRS. Web. 10 April 2014

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