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Is it time we stopped taking our children to zoos?

Sally Peck: ‘Over the past three decades, zoos have evolved, but there remains this fundamental problem: these are institutions that display animals in ways that prevent them from engaging in their natural behaviour – in particular, breeding, hunting and moving across large areas… “Zoos cannot meet the unique environmental, nutritional, climate and social needs of the species they hold captive,” says Elisa Allen, director of Peta UK. “Consequently, an informed populace is now turning away from what are essentially animal prisons that cannot even guarantee their inmates’ safety”…

Others say they remain relevant because they educate and contribute to conservation and research… Professor David Field, zoological director at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos, highlights the significant contribution his institutions have made to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats around the world… Are they really raising money for conservation? How much? And what is that “conservation” money doing to?…

Virtual reality offers a whole new area of experience for kids. Elisa Allen, director of PETA UK, highlights the success of Sea Life London Aquarium’s recent collaboration with the BBC – Frozen Planet: Face to Face… Zoos had their height in the pre-TV age. With the wealth of technology available to us today, it’s increasingly difficult to justify the case for keeping animals in captivity purely for the spectacle of it’. SOURCE…

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