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Wild Animals/Are Zoos Cruel To Wild Animals?


Dear Johnathon,
I need arguments stating why Zoos are cruel to wild animals. Do you have anything you would like to add to this topic? Hopefully concerning the animals living situations and certain things they might be being deprived of.
Nuhan Aziz

Hello Nuhan

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the owners of the websites I used.

I'm afraid that the question is invalid. I agree that some zoo conditions are cruel to some wild animals, but it is not true that all zoos are cruel to all wild animals. Remember that good zoos provide food and medical care for their animals and several zoos have increased the size of their enclosures and have added material to enable the animals to be more active. Please note that the same species may be kept in vastly different conditions in various zoos and some of these are very cruel. I have seen animals in very small enclosures, where they are barely able to turn around and I would agree with you that those surroundings are cruel to wild animals. Also, after behavioural problems have been seen with dolphins, polar bears and various other species, several zoos have stopped keeping them.  

I suggest you contact organisations such as the Captive Animals Protection Society ( and Zoo Check ( for more information. I'm sure that they will be able to help you with your topic.

All the best


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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