Many zoos are very sad places for animals. Although they
get basic food and water, most animals dont have much to do and must be very bored.
They dont get to do many of the things they would do in the wild like
building their own dens or nests, searching out the foods they like, raising their
Many zoo animals are captured far away and shipped over many
miles in small crates to zoos. Sometimes their mothers or other family members are
killed in order to capture them.
When zoos end up with too many of one kind of animal or when
some animals grow old, some zoos sell the animals to people who own game farms where
people pay money to shoot them. Sometimes they are sent to laboratories to be
Dont visit the zoo. If people didnt go, they
wouldnt make money and would have to close down.
If your class is planning a trip to a zoo, ask your teacher to
plan a trip to a museum, park or sanctuary instead.
If your teacher or family insist that you go to the zoo, bring
a pencil and paper to take notes. Keep your eyes open for the following:
- Do the animals have water? Is it clean? Is there shade for them?
- Can they stand up, lie down and move around comfortably?
- How much space do they have? Do they have a private space?
- Do the animals look healthy? Do they have sores or injuries?
- Does the area smell? It shouldnt if the caretakers are doing their job.
You can get a more detailed zoo checklist from the Animal Welfare Institute, P. O. Box 3650, Washington,