Do any of you reblogging this have any fucking idea what zoos actually do? I hate PETA’s fucking sensationalist, uneducated bullshit.

(First, let me say that this doesn’t apply to all “zoos.” Many animal attractions, parks, etc. have inadequate facilities and care, breed animals for no other reason than to have babies at all times, keep animals in dangerous environments, etc. This is in reference to accredited, official, quality zoos.)

1. Zoos’ main purpose is conservation. Zoos breed and care for endangered animals, some of which are literally extinct in the wild. There are more than thirty unique and special animal species that are considered “extinct in the wild.” Meaning that, without zoos, they would have been gone forever, probably a long time ago. Think about the scimitar-horned oryx:

the Pinta Island tortoise (Lonesome George, the last living pure Pinta Island tortoise, just died, but about 17 hybrids were discovered):

the Père David’s deer:

the Socorro dove:

and the Kihansi spray toad:

…all of which would be lost forever without zoos. And those who have already gone extinct because of human destruction is in the hundreds. Some of the most recent are the passenger pigeon (ext. 1914):

the Mexican grizzly bear (ext. 1964):

the Caribbean monk seal (ext. 2008):

and the Javan tiger (ext. 1970s):

…all of which could have been saved. And it’s only getting worse.

2. Zoos strive to educate the public about the beauty and importance of animals they might never have heard of otherwise. Most people would never hear of animals like the tapir, the kudu, the condor, the ocelot, or the marmoset (among others) if they never went to a zoo. Many people still don’t. But how many kids, after going to the zoo, have made a new favorite animal? How many of you did? I did, many times. Zoos (with the help of other things) inspired me to go into the field of Zoology, where I hope to use my career and life to help these animals. If a kid’s never seen a bear in real life, or a tiger, or an elephant, how much do you think they’re going to take notice?

3. Zoos take in animals that were injured, seized from illegal situations, or otherwise compromised. They strive to either rehabilitate them or keep them in a safe, comfortable environment. Most animals that are taken from the illegal pet trade or other such illegal trades are not fit to be released into the wild. Many have become accustomed to relying on humans for food and other necessities. In the wild, they would continue to seek human help, putting both them and the humans in serious danger (especially in the context of big cats, bears, and other predators).

Fucking stop it. Educate yourself and support your local zoo. They need our help.

SIGNAL BOOST. The Oakland Zoo has saved tigers who would have otherwise been broken from performing in a circus. Now the bbs get space, love, toys and all the health care they could ever need.

There’s a small zoo in Austin, TX that is primarily a rescue for exotic pets that were either taken by police or surrendered because their owners couldn’t care for them. 

Many of the animals there were abused by their previous owners, and the staff at the Austin Zoo helps rehabilitate them and provides a safe environment for them.

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