zoos and aquariums

This post is about the importance of Zoos and Aquariums and why we should value them!

When we pay a visit to Zoos or Aquariums, the beauty and grace of the animals awakens our charm. And at that moment, it is common for us to start thinking things like:

“Shouldn’t these animals be living in the wild ?”, or “These animals were kidnapped and now there’s no way to ask for ransom!?”, or “Are they ‘ sad ‘ to be trapped?”.

If you’ve ever thought about this kind of thing and were worried (rightly!) about our planet colleagues, calm down…

Fix your spine…
Take a deep breath…
And follow the text until the end! I’m sure you’ll start to see Zoos and Aquariums with different eyes!

First of all, let’s talk a little about the history of Zoos

It was in Ancient Egypt and China that the first “zoos” appeared (in quotes because these zoos were quite different from the ones we have today), which served as a way of showing status , flaunting power and wealth [1].

It was only later on, around the 19th century , that the first modern zoos were born. However, the purpose of these modern zoos was just to entertain the public and… make a profit (make money $$ ). So there wasn’t a lot of animal care and welfare , I’ve never even seen it [1].

For our joy and for the pets, this concept has changed! Is very!

Today’s Zoos and Aquariums:

Currently, zoos and aquariums play a fundamental role (pay attention to the word “FUNDAMENTAL “!) in environmental education , in the conservation of numerous wild and exotic species and in research [1][2] !

Iguana cub at the Butantan Institute. source: author

From nature to captivity?

No! These institutions do not remove any animals from nature! On the contrary, they house the animals that were illegally taken from the wild, which were often mistreated.

And just to remind you: removing an animal from its habitat is a crime ! Considered as illegal animal trafficking, according to Law No. 9,605/98 !

Returning to zoos, they also house animals coming from circuses, victims of trampling, strandings and also shelter animals from other institutions for conservation purposes [3].

Why don’t they go back to nature?

Doing this is more complicated and delicate than we think… Unfortunately, these animals would not survive in the wild, for several reasons. Many have suffered physical trauma, others may not know how to hunt, and some do not recognize other individuals of their own species!

In other cases, animals may not even recognize their predators. In addition, human contact can make us consider us as similar (and as much as it seems, that’s not good!) [3].

How can we do to help the animals ?

In the so-called conservation , there is indeed the possibility of reproducing and reintroducing endangered species into nature. In addition, it is also possible to improve the genetic variability (which is a subject for another text hehe) of these species, which can be done in conjunction with research [2] !

With research we can study reproductive behavior, genetics, molecular biology, nutrition, biotechnology, among many other things [2]!

And environmental education comes precisely to show the importance of conservation and research, so that we can learn about animal habits, curiosities, species biology, wild and exotic species, etc [2][4].

So , do they live sad and homesick for nature?

Many of these animals have never even had contact with nature. Or if they did, they were very young. As such, these animals did not develop any significant memories that made them miss where they lived.

Zoos and Aquariums have great concern for the well-being of their esteemed residents. The animals are provided with enclosures similar to their natural habitat, where they always taste a nutrient-rich diet; receive environmental enrichment , and periodic veterinary monitoring.

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