Unnatural Habitats Cause Abnormal Behaviors in Wild Animals
Thousands of people visit zoos and aquariums everyday, where they see wild animals in captivity. A typical day in a zoo consist of little to no time at each exhibit examining an animal in a small space.Many people think that having animals in captivity is a good idea and a chance for an educational experience. Majority of the public is for zoos and aquariums being open, however there is a decent amount of people who think the opposite about animals in captivity. During a zoo visit one may see an wild chimp eating its waste or pacing back an forth and believe that its their normal behavior. In fact according to Zoo Chimps’ Mental Health affected by Captivity “self-mutilation, repetitive rocking, and consumption of feces, are symptoms of compromised mental health in humans, and are not seen in wild chimpanzees”. Often these behaviors are overlooked by
Zoos and Aquariums are false advertisements to the public. Most, if not majority of the exhibits within a zoo and or aquarium lack the sufficient space a wild animal such as a tiger or killer whale need to live. When a person is viewing the exhibit,most of the time the wild animal is presenting unnatural behavior. For Example, according to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies’ Marine Mammals in Captivity, “Like killer whales, belugas travel hundreds of miles in the wild. Constrained in an aquarium the swim in circular patterns, unable to live and swim naturally”. The lack of space is likely never to be fixed once the animal is in its exhibit due to money. Even if the Zoos or aquariums make an exhibit larger, the space will never be better when compared to their natural environment.
Lack of stimulation and Foraging behavior has become a problem for many animals that reside in a zoo or aquarium.According to Ida Korneliussen in “Can Wild animals have mental illness?”the author sates that ” Animals can engage in compulsive actions if they don’t get what they seek and need…” and “This is because they cannot escape the cage to look for food”. Animals in captivity face unusual environments are not able to function as they would out in the wild where they can explore for their own food and partners.
Many people on a daily basis, who are on a trip to the zoo do not realize that the animals’ environment is harmful to the its well being. For example, a killer whale hat is also known as an Orca is extremely large in size when compare to most captive wild animals. Also in Marine Mammals in Captivity, the article states that killer whales “live in pods of two to fifty whales and swim up to 100 miles in a day and dive to depths of 500 feet…” and that orcas “prefer deep water and usually spend 10 to 20 per cent of their time at the surface”. Animals that in large tanks of water do not have any room to be themselves, the water they reside in is extremely harsh and filled with chemicals that damage their skin. Not only does the water they swim in damage their skin but there is no way for the marine animal to travel to parts of the ocean to find a mate, large marine animals such as orcas swim in a secluded unnatural space. The continuous lack of natural environment in captivity will continue to drive animals to express unusual behaviors inside their exhibits.
NEW SOURCE* Korneliussen, Ida. “Can WIld Animals Have Mental Illness?” ScienceNordic. N.p., 24 June 2015. Web. 2 Nov. 2015. <http://sciencenordic.com/can-wild-animals-have-mental-illnesses>.
“CFHS | Marine Mammals in Captivity.” RSS. Canadian Federation of Human Societies, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. <http://cfhs.ca/wild/marine_mammals_in_captivity>.