500+ Words Essay on Zoo
The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mahatma Gandhi
A zoological park, an animal park or for short, a zoo is an enclosed space where animals of different species are kept in closed surroundings. They are fed, given proper medical attention and facilities and are well taken care of. A visit to a zoo is probably one of the first outings that a young child has and remembers.
These lovely moments are mostly spent with family or with school friends on field trips or day outs. We love watching animals on the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel, but witnessing these wonders of nature in a zoo, is a whole different and delightful experience.
The way they tread from place to place, the way they catch their prey, the manner in which they take care of their young ones, etc. is utmost intriguing to us.
Sights at a Zoo
A zoo has a complete mix of animal species from around the world. They have different sections allotted to different breeds and types of faunas. We can witness the athletic, light brown monkeys, notorious baboons, proud chimpanzees and hairy orangutans in a cage with many trees for them to climb to and swing from.
They are fed bananas, nuts and mangoes. They eat the fruit just like us humans do. Children are mesmerised by their swift movements and human-like intelligence.
The carnivorous animals are never kept together in one place. They are kept separately and are allotted enough space to roam around and hunt their prey, which is at times, deliberately let into their areas by the zoo guards.
This helps them not to forget their hunting skills and also keeps them active and moving. Wild bears, leopards, tigers, lions, etc. seem intimidating by their loud roars but are definitely a worthy sight to look at. People visiting the zoo, spend more time watching these animals, than any other kind of wildlife.
Who doesn’t love the sight of gorgeous and colourful birds chirping and flying around? The melodious voice of the canary, the 360-degree head turn of the owl and the mimicking of the parrot, all cast a spell on us. We can also observe beautiful creatures like swans, pelicans and flamingos in human-made ponds.
The Reptile kingdom is frightening and exhilarating at the same time. Crocodiles with massive open jaws, shiny and fascinating scales on the skin of snakes and the third eye of the tuatara, all leave our mouths open in awe. Reptiles are generally kept in low lying areas which have lesser light and are mostly dark.
Other animals that can be spotted include the tall giraffe, the lazy hippopotamus, the cute panda, the scary-looking one-horned rhinoceros, etc.
Benefits of Zoo
Zoos provide an opportunity to experience wildlife first hand. You may not be able to visit all countries around the world to see different kinds of animals, but animal parks make it possible for you to watch all of them under one shed.
They also give us a chance to observe the animal’s behaviour, one on one and in real-time. No matter how much we read in books or watch in videos, no knowledge can beat the experience of seeing it from one’s own eyes. These observations often lead to award-winning scientific breakthroughs.
Zoos are prominent, spread out places which urge people to walk to see their favourite animals. This walking helps to keep the visitors fit and takes the role of an exercise. They also help in raising awareness about various animals and what dangers haunt them. They are advised to become more responsible and sensitive.
Zoological parks act as a safe breeding ground for animals. Species that are endangered or on the verge of extinction are brought here to mate and increase their population in order to bring back the balance.
Zoos also act as a boost to the community. Families spend a whole day there, and schools bring out their children for a fun-filled trip—Zoo’s help in creating jobs, raising national revenue and also boost local and small-scale businesses.
Disadvantages of Zoo
An animal born in captivity becomes dependent on human beings for its survival. It lives in no connection with its original habitat whatsoever and hence, adapts to the man-made conditions that it takes birth in.
A question of ethics also arises wherein we are forced to ask ourselves whether keeping animals in cages or locked spaces is ethical. In some animals, like Orcas, living in captivity, reduces their lifespan by about 70 per cent.
The natural environments of animals cannot be substituted entirely with artificial and human-made surroundings. Animals like polar bears and penguins should live in extreme cold and freezing conditions, but when they do not get the exact temperatures to live in, they can face excessive stress and health problems.
A zoo may, at numerous instances, be concerned with profitability, then with the animal’s welfare. In an aim to earn high revenues and even make profits, taking care of the animals takes a back seat.
We have seen so many instances wherein the authorities act in certain ways only as marketing gimmicks. Harambe, a seventeen-year-old gorilla was shot and killed fearing the safety of a three-year-old boy who had fallen into its enclosure.
Experts later said that his gesture and attitude was protective, rather than that of causing harm to the infant. Two lions were shot when a suicidal man entered their territory knowingly and on purpose. These occurrences make you question whether it was the animals who were at fault.
Zoos no doubt are a pleasurable spot for children as well as adults. They should be funded well in order to help rare species from going extinct. They help a person to come face to face with the environment and feel one with it. The experience of going home after a visit to the zoo is always magnificent and enriching.