My Thoughts About Zoos

By Mommy Donna and Kib - October 19, 2021

I love visiting zoos. It's my way of seeing animals that I don't see on a daily basis. I want to see animals with my naked eyes instead of seeing them from books. I also want to see these animals alive than seeing them in museums. 

Whenever we visit zoos, I also try to avail of the 'extras' in the zoos, like having a photo with the animal, feeding the animals, etc. because I know that maintaining a huge number of animals costs a lot, and availing of the extras will help augment in the overall maintenance of the zoos.

I also like Kib to have a passion for animals. Bringing him to zoos is my way of teaching Kib about these animals and for him not to have any fears with them. It is also my way of teaching Kib to have a passion for animals. 

Kib and I had visited zoos both locally and internationally. We had been to Ark Avilon, Avilon Zoo, Mini Zoo at Residence Inn in Tagaytay, Manila Zoo, Kinder Zoo, Manila Ocean Park, Hong Kong Ocean Park, Ueno Zoo in Japan, Davao Crocodile Farm, Puerto Princesa Crocodile Farm, Zoobic Safari, Malabon Zoo, Las Farolas, Island Cove, among others. We also visited some animal sanctuaries like the Bohol Bee Farm, some butterfly gardens, fruit bat sanctuary in Boracay, tarsier habitat in Bohol, the pawikan (sea turtle) sanctuary in Bataan, Sta. Elena Fun Farm among others. I wanted Kib to have the best travel experience by going to places where he would learn a lot. This is part of our homeschooling adventures. 

Manila Ocean Park experience with the sea lion

Posing with a fruit bat in Boracay

Kinder Zoo inside Manila Zoo

Palawan Crocodile Farm

Bohol Bee Farm

Lyger Animal Sanctuary in Pililia, Rizal

I know, some of the animal rights activists will disagree with me, but I also have valid reasons for liking zoos.  

1. Zoos, in a true sense, are not only meant for entertainment. They are established to provide valuable information about animals to visitors. Zoos are also places to study the behavior of the animals and to provide experts with answers they needed to further help the animals of the same kind in the wild.

Ocean Park in Hong Kong

2. Zookeepers make sure that the animals have good living conditions. It may not be the ideal one, but they make sure that the animals have enough living space for them to grow and get the daily exercise they need.

Flamingoes in Ueno Zoo, Japan

3. Zookeepers also find a way to know the animals. They know if the animals are in good mood or not. It is also part of educating the visitors. They also remind the visitors to treat the animals with respect even if they are in enclosed areas. Visitors can ask any questions about animals to the zookeepers.

4. Animal rights activists will say that animals are better in the wild, but with what's happening in the world (modernization, illegal killing, and selling of animal parts), do you think animals still have a fair chance to live on their own? 

We already heard of animals dying because they do not have enough food to eat. We also heard seeing wild animals roaming on the streets. This is because they are looking for food. These animals have no food in their usual territory, that is why they go out of their comfort zones to look for food. Moreover, most wild animals do not include humans in their diet and they only resort to eating humans when there is no more food to eat in their territory. 

For me, it's better for animals to live under the care of humans because their health will be closely monitored and they will be fed well instead of them living in the wild with uncertainty because of the poachers who are interested in selling their parts in the black market.

Now that we are in a pandemic, visits to zoos are limited. As a result, zoo management is having a hard time coping with the expenses of feeding the animals. Animal rights activists say that the animals should be released in the wild to give them a fair chance to hunt for food. However, wild animals that have been fed by humans for a long time do not have hunting instincts anymore. What is the assurance that these animals will survive in the wild?

5. Zoos are also places for animal research. There are zoos that have facilities where they can study the animals more. Not all the time zoos are regarded as evil places for animals. The people working in the zoos are also finding ways to release animals bred under their care in the wild, especially the endangered animals. 

Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong, Bataan

Let us not demonize zoos. I support zoos because it is my way of learning about the animals that I only see in books. I want to see these animals alive than seeing them in museums. If zoos are not invented, safari or jungle trips will be very costly and only a few people can actually see these animals in the wild. I know that some people will disagree with me, but let us agree to disagree, okay? 

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