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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Zoos Are Vital For Education And Conservation

On one occasion zoos were places where exotic animals were merely put on display. Such establishments were increasingly regarded as cruel. Today, the world’s best zoos are vital for education and conservation. Several animals, which are classified as extinct in the wild, can only be found in zoos where they are being bred. Without captive breeding, many endangered species would now be extinct (for instance, the Golden Lion Tamarin (above image), Red Wolf, and Przewalski's Horse). These breeding programs are heavily controlled to make sure that closely related animals do not breed with each other. Later, individual animals may be sent to several zoos around the world to mate in various zoos in order to prevent inbreeding. Hopefully, it will be possible to introduce many of these animals to the wild in future years.

I am by no means suggesting that we should stop protecting the animal’s natural habitat; nevertheless if rare species were to become extinct in the wild, zoos and wildlife parks are an important way of increasing the number of rare animals. Most, such as the giant panda center in China, are in the natural habitat. If the animals kept there are treated correctly, they ought to be able to fend for themselves when released back into the wild.

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