Photo Credit: 666philly via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: 666philly via Compfight cc

A few years ago I went to the San Diego zoo with my now husband and my sister. We mostly went for the pandas of course, but there are tons of other animals to see! We did the double-decker bus ride and we ran around the park looking at cute little or big animals. In the children’s zoo, we found something we had never seen before. It was about a foot and half big and was in a small pen just waddling around in circles. It was covered in sharp spikes and was totally odd. We all just stared down at it wondering why it was in the children’s zoo and what the heck it was. There wasn’t a zookeeper or a sign nearby. It wasn’t until I looked it up online that I found out it was an echidna called Victor! Totally adorable and harmless and such an odd creature. I wish I had tried to pet it. Victor passed away last year at the ripe old age of 58.

There’s always controversy over zoos because opponents say that these animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity for people to gawk at. With the state of the world as it is now though, with animals becoming extinct because of our activities, it is a necessary evil. Zoos keep endangered species alive through breeding programs and they promote awareness to help these animals. There are some donkeys that I recall seeing at the Safari park. If they were returned to the wild, they would all be hunted down by humans. In that park are also the last 2 white rhinos in the world. Being able to see rare and endangered animals teaches us that our actions do have an impact. The polar bear is a prime example of this. If people weren’t able to see polar bears at the zoo, would there be as much awareness of their plight? Their habitat is disappearing rapidly as the ice melts more each year.

Sharing our world
Animals are all around us. There are funny odd ones like the echidna and then dogs that we see every single day. A lot of the animals we see at the zoo are from around the world. Many of them are there to be in breeding programs to try to keep them from becoming extinct. Habitat loss and global warming are two major reasons why a lot of animals are endangered. If we preserved forests rather than cutting them down in droves, a lot of these animals wouldn’t need our help. Water levels are rising and many low lying islands will be under water soon. The Galapagos islands will all be under water, and we will lose tons of wildlife there. With all the pollution we’ve caused, we’ve accelerated their extinction.

 

I personally love going to the zoo to see the diversity of life that’s in this world. If it weren’t for zoos, then there really wouldn’t be any awareness about the endangered animals. They also help raise money to try to save these animals. It gives me motivation to try to be as earth-friendly as possible when I find myself looking at a polar bear.

What do you think of zoos?


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