It took a year of our daughter repeatedly asking before I broke down and bought a zoo membership. I try to balance their desire for fun and my stance on moral issues. Here is why it's difficult for me to financially support this institution.
1. Reminds Me of Our Ancestors
Seeing the animals in cages (especially the gorillas) and hearing people's reactions reminds me of human zoos, when we were on exhibit having onlookers staring and smirking at us.
2. Small Living Spaces
I've seen a couple of the living quarters (where they put the animals when the zoo closes) and they seem tiny.
The animals (especially the large ones) are put on medication to keep them tame. A healthy and sane lion would be able to jump, scale and escape his exhibit. His roar would be felt not just heard throughout the zoo. The tigers would not just pace back-and-forth.
4. Birth Control
The zoo controls the animals reproduction. Births are conveniently scheduled to lure more visits to the zoo.
I am skeptical of some of the information shared at zoos. For example, the idea that animals are healthier and live longer in captivity.
6. Not In Natural Habitat
The weather concerns me because many of the zoo animals are not from this country. The zoo also places random objects in their enclosures to "stimulate" the animals and make them work for their food, but nothing compares to animals hunting and scavenging for food in their natural environment.
7. Mothers Rejecting Newborns
One of the zoo keepers informed me that mothers frequently reject their young if they smell human scent. Human contact is made to perform checkups to make sure the newborn is okay. Now that the baby is rejected they are raised separately (sometimes alone) until they are old enough to reunite with the others.
I am saddened by the situation of animals in the zoo. I take the girls to farms and nature centers that show animals in their natural habitats. I don’t want my world views to shape the girls minds, so we use all experiences as learning opportunities.