Are Zoo trips really educational?
The idea of holding animals in captivity is a thought that has come and gone in society. Often, observing animals up close and personal is believed to be an educational experience while for many people that is not the case. Without zoos having an educational aspect there is no reason to exist.
An educational experience would be when a person learns new information from the act or place they are at. A piece of information that one takes from the zoo and uses it in the long run can be deemed educational. In the article “Zoos:An idea Whose Time Has Come and Gone” PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) explains that zoos are exploitation to the animals it holds not education. Peta states that ” most zoo visitors simply wander around the grounds, pause briefly in front of some displays, and spend their time on snacks and bathroom breaks”. There is no educational value to a zoo trip if there is only a very small time spent where the animals are. The organization also explains “visitors spent less than eight seconds per snake exhibit and only one minute with the lions. Only spending such a small amount of time per animal exhibit is not a convincing argument about learning. People should be spending minutes or even more time such as hours learning about the animals they are examining.
The other side to determining whether or not trips to see wildlife exhibits can be deemed educational is the fact that the observers are not seeing the animals in their natural habitat. If the people are actually paying attention to how the animals are acting, the person is not getting accurate information on how the animal functions. According to PETA “numerous studies have shown that exhibiting animals in unnatural settings may undermine conservation by leaving the public with the idea that a species must not be in jeopardy if the government is allowing it to be used for display and entertainment”. Using animals for pure enjoyment rather than helping them is not educational. Animals that reside in zoos are usually not extinct, but the more the animals are brought into zoos the closer that species is to extinction because many animals die in captivity and are not let back into the wild. Unnatural behaviors and inaccurate information along with lack of observing can be deemed not educational. A trip being educational would mean that the person observing is learning information that is accurate, however the information is not.
According to studies by CAPS (Captive Animals’ Protection Society) in “Zoos neither educate nor empower children, newly published research suggests” the organization states that “Only 38% of children were able to demonstrate positive learning outcomes”. CAPS study also concluded that “Majority of children (62%) were deemed to show no change in learning or, worse, experienced negative learning during their trip to the zoo” It can be concluded that kids don’t really enjoy time at the zoo for the animals. Most children would rather go get souvenirs and food then see the wildlife.There are too many distractions in and around the zoo for their to be a focus on the animals, there are more food and other entertainment related aspects of a zoo on its pamphlet . Children with the desire to learn my have an educational experience about safety of animals at a zoo leading to the realization that the animals do not belong there and need to be in their natural habitats. Furthermore children should be learning about endangered species while at zoos, in order to learn about how to protect those animals.
“Zoos: An Idea Whose Time Has Come and Gone.” People For the Ethical Treatment Of Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/zoos/>.
“Zoos Neither Educate nor Empower Children, Newly Published Research Suggest.” Captive Animals’ Protection Society. N.p., 24 Sept. 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2015. <http://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2014/09/zoos-neither-educate-empower-children-newly-published-research-suggests>.