Should undomesticated animals be kept in captivity
  •   TheDalekDiva [2090233]TheDalekDiva [2090233]
    • TheDalekDiva [2090233]
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    Thread created on 04:54:36 - 09/12/17 (1 year ago)
    Last replied 15:44:51 - 05/01/18 (1 year ago)

    Hi everyone,

    Please keep in mind that this is a post solely created for discussion purposes. If you do not agree with someones opinion, that is not a reason to downvote their post. Downvote posts if they are poorly written, irrelavent, stupid, rude or contain flawed arguments. This could apply to posts you agree with as well as ones you disagree with.

    Theres no reason to be rude or nasty. Please keep your language clean and respectful and stay on-topic. Remember, this is a discussion, not an argument.

    Also, my lack of apostrophes and quotation marks is not due to a poor grasp of punctuation. For some reason, it deletes all the apostrophes and quotation marks from my sentences.

    So here is my opinion.

    I think keeping animals in captivity is fine, as long as two criteria can be met:

    1. Their needs can be fully met in captivity.

    2. They are not endangered.

    Many might think that the first criterion would apply to every animal, but I disagree. Large, intelligent animals with big ranges are frequently kept in captivity, but their needs are not fully met.

    Take most cetaceans, for example. Cetaceans include whales, dolphins and porpoises. These animals have huge ranges and can swim dozen stars of kilometres each day, so for their habitat to be large enough to meet their needs, it would have to be so large that people would have great difficulty seeing the animal and the zoo or show would be unable to make a profit.

    Most cetaceans live in social groups of about 50-100 individuals. They form strong bonds. Zoos or shows frequently have to take some of these animals out of the wild because breeding them is very difficult. This is extremely stressful for the animals involved, because they are separated from their social group. They frequently become listless and depressed, and may refuse to eat, be lethargic or move in repetitive ways (for example, swimming in circles or shaking their head). Many recover from this stress, but many do not. The only way to stop this stressful separation would be to take the whole pod out of the wild, which is not possible.

    As I stated earlier, they are social creatures, and need another animal to keep them company, so they aren often put with another individual of the same species. However, this is a not a good replacement for their pod. There are only certain situations in which these animals will bond with other animals, and simply putting two individuals in the same tank does not mean they will bond.

    I will now address my second point.

    Many people think that zoos are helping endangered animals by breeding them, but this is not the case. Saving a species is not as simple as churning out more animals. Most animals in captivity do not have the skills they need to survive in the wild. A tiger that is born and raised in a zoo will almost certainly perish if it is released into the wild.

    I think it is a waste to keep endangered animals that are able to breed in captivity. We should be be breeding them, yes, but we need to make sure that they and their offspring have the skills they need to survive in the wild. Endangered animals in captivity should have their habitat replicated as much as possible - this means giving them a large area of land, giving them an opportunity to hunt or forage for the food they would eat in the wild instead of being fed by a keeper, and, most importantly, minimising their contact with humans. We need to make sure that they know how to survive outside of captivity. They should then be released into a part of the wild where they can survive.

    I think the only time endangered animals should be in captivity is if they are unable to breed, or if theyd are being used for scientific research.

    So, what do you guys think? What are your opinions? You can do the poll, but a discussion would be much more interesting.

    • Do you think animals should be kept in captivity?
    • 1. No, never.
      15.38% (2 votes)
    • 2. Only if their needs can be fully met.
      38.46% (5 votes)
    • 3. Yes, all animals can be kept in captivity.
      23.08% (3 votes)
    • 4. Only if they are not endangered.
      0% (0 votes)
    • Both 2 and 4.
      23.08% (3 votes)
    Total number of votes: 13

    Sorry for the lack of apostrophes and quotation marks. I dont know why they arent appearing.

  •   Dromayr [2096315]Dromayr [2096315]
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    Posted on 15:44:51 - 05/01/18 (1 year ago)
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    I do strongly agree with you on the subject of endangered species in captivity. Endangered animals should, indeed, be prepared for life in the wild. Unfortunately, however, for some species, this may not be the best idea. Giant pandas are the most cited example of an endangered species that is difficult to work with.

    Pandas have evolved in a peculiar way, given their carnivorous roots, and most of it is due to farming and land development in China. Their original habitats have been destroyed, and now they're forced to live in mountainous areas. Even though they eat bamboo, their digestive system is still designed to be carnivorous, and so most of what they eat is passed as waste. They must spend 10 to 16 hours a day just foraging and eating, and the rest of their time is mostly spent sleeping.

    As for their reproductive habits, females only ovulate once a year and only for two or three days, leaving the window of opportunity for mating very, very small. Then, for the first three months or so after a cub's birth, the mother panda has to dedicate 80% of her time to holding the newborn cub, feeding it, and caring for it. If the panda has two offspring, especially if she's a first-time mother, she will often abandon or even eat the smaller, weaker, or sicker cub. Granted, this was an evolutionary change to avoid panda mothers having to waste resources that they don't have available on caring for two offspring, but this is detrimental to the growth of their population.

    With the pandas' biological disadvantages combined with their ever-shrinking natural habitat, it's very possible that the Giant Panda will only be able to survive in captivity. In cases like those, I feel we should focus very, very strongly on conservation of the species and, yes, emulating their natural environment as much as possible, but we should also focus on learning more about that species and seeing if we can encourage them to make adaptations that will allow them to survive on new food sources or even in new environments, if their original habitat is destroyed. For one example, pandas in zoos are often fed fruit, as well - a high-carbohydrate source of food. If we can encourage pandas to forage for fruits in their zoo habitats, especially fruits native to China, that could help lay the groundwork for generations of pandas that can subsist off of both fruits and bamboo or even change their food source altogether.

    As much as we need to focus on preserving an endangered animal's natural instincts and behaviour, sometimes it's not feasible.