Is It Cruel to Keep Animals in Captivity?
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Keeping animals in captivity has been practised since very long. Putting wild creatures in cages is neither a good thing nor a sin.
In my opinion, captivating animals is not always a cruel deed in most cases where it proves to be an advantage to both humans and the creatures that were living before I the wilderness enjoying utmost freedom. Firstly, the keeping and breeding of vulnerable animals in zoos and circuses ensure their protection better. The era has changed; today’s world is that of factories, houses, hotels, restaurants not a world where the wildlife may have enough space to survive. For this reason, with the help of many organisations as the World Wide Fund for Nature have built zoos where these animals can be kept and be bred in security.
Endangered natural life can also be saved by keeping some of the species in cages. In Mauritius, for example, the kestrel – a unique bird – which was in great danger of extinction is now present in big numbers throughout the island. It is true also for the Mauritius Parakeet and the American Bison and the trumpeter or swan both of North America as well as for other worldwide animals. In captivity, protected from any danger, the endangered animal species are observed by scientists who then set up the creatures’ surroundings almost as it was in nature. Thus, in their respective environment, the caged creatures adapt themselves: the male and female then reproduce, increasing the population. This method, therefore, is not cruel but a successful means of saving endangered species from becoming extinct.
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In certain cases, some animals become too dangerous to let them roam about freely. Tigers, leopards and other carnivorous creatures at times break into farms and kill the cattle, an easy prey due to the lack of food. There, they are often shot by the angry farmers. Some of the fierce hunters die while others become man-eaters – a definite threat for human life. Therefore, they must be kept in captivity so that they do not cause harm to anyone.
Most scientists and other people do not capture animals for the sake of pleasure nor as a form of cruelty. They keep the creatures in captivity in the latter’s own benefit. For instance, as nowadays, forests are being cleared to provide space for building, food is not easily available to wild animals. The giant panda eats only one kind of food: bamboo shoots and lots of them. Moreover, these bamboo plants produce seeds and die every hundred years or so. Thus by the time the plants are big enough to eat, many giant pandas have died of starvation. But in the zoo, the giant panda is provided with great amounts of bamboo shoots within reach.
On the other side, the second part of the question still is a fact to be considered. To keep animals in captivity is against nature and so partly cruel. Some creatures like the crocodile and the deer are bred in various parks and afterwards killed for commercial purposes as belts, wallets and even as a decorative piece in houses. It can be therefore said that to keep animals in captivity is not cruel but to a certain limit only.