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Are zoos ethical in the modern age? Show more Show less

Zoos can be a fun trip for any age, young or old. It may be the only chance most people will be able to see various exotic animals from around the world. Yet, they have also been known to be unethical or dangerous for both the animals and people. What are the sides to the zoo debate? Are zoos truly bad?

Yes, zoos are bad Show more Show less

Zoos are, at their core, cruel to animals and shouldn't be supported.
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Zoo animals attack people

There have been many reported cases of animals injuring people at zoos.
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animal attacks animals ethics

Context

The Argument

There have been many instances where zoo animals have attacked trainers and civilians, causing serious injuries or death. Even when making great efforts to keep the animals and people safe, attacks still occur. Zoos can never be completely safe, and people put themselves at risk each time they go. For example, a 4-year-old boy ran into a gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo. The gorilla tossed the boy around until it was killed by the zookeepers.[1]A trainer at SeaWorld was killed by an orca. The animal pulled her into the water and she drowned.[2] A toddler fell off an observation deck into the wild African dog exhibit. He was immediately attacked and killed by the animals.[3]

Counter arguments

All attacks by zoo animals are caused by human error. A majority of attacks occur when a person is in the animal's enclosure, within close proximity to the animal. The animal could feel threatened by having a person in their space, which provokes an attack. For example, a zookeeper was mauled by a tiger because the metal gate designed to isolate the animal was left open.[4]

Framing

Premises

[P1] Zoo animals attack humans. [P2] Zoos are never completely safe. [P3] Going to the zoo is dangerous.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Humans provoke animal attacks. [Rejecting P3] Attacks at zoos rarely happen.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/30/us/gorilla-killed-after-child-enters-enclosure-at-cincinnati-zoo.html
  2. https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/AmazingAnimals/whale-kills-trainer-sea-worlds-shamu-stadium/story?id=9932526
  3. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/04/pittsburgh-zoo-child-killed/1681645/
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/10/death-zoo-keeper-rosa-king-mauled-tiger-ruled-accidental

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 19 Mar 2020 at 13:57 UTC