Essay on ‘Animals should not be kept in zoos’

This is a one thousand word essay for kids on the subject “animals should not be kept in zoos”. There are many ways to write this essay so the thoughts here are personal. Zoos are quite controversial. Anyone can use the essay if they wish. In the essay I use the word ‘conservation’. If you read an essay on conservation it may help explain what it means.

The animals that we see in zoos are wild animals. They were created to live in wild, natural places. In these wild places there is lots of space for an animal to hunt and live naturally. A famous wild animal is the tiger. In Russia, a tiger lives in a space that is about 80 miles by 80 miles or 640 square miles. Now put that tiger in a cage that is 30 feet by 30 feet. How do you think he feels? That is one very good reason why tigers should not be in zoos.

It is not just about tigers, though. Many other animals in zoos live in very small spaces compared to the space that they have in the wild. This can make the animal stressed and unhappy. It is not just about space. Zoo animals often cannot behave naturally. How can a tiger hunt its prey in a zoo? If you were not allowed to do the things you like to do for the rest of your life, how would you feel?

Essay on why animals should not be kept in zoos

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Zoos are for entertaining people. The people who own zoos say that they are also for ‘conservation’. What they mean is that zoos help to stop wild animals dying out in the wild. The trouble is that often zoos do not help in conservation. If fact some people say that they make things worse.

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One reason why zoos make things worse for wild animals is because they are being used in zoos for our entertainment. This means that we are more likely to regard animals as creatures to entertain us. If we have that idea in our heads it is more likely that animals will die out in the wild. This is because it encourages people to use animals rather than to respect them for what they are and to let them live their lives naturally in places where they are meant to live.

Kids will say that zoos are good fun. Kids can learn about animals at zoos. This is good but kids also learn that animals and zoos go together when they don’t. Animals are not meant to be in zoos. Kids could still learn about animals in other ways which were kinder to animals, if zoos did not exist.

Another reason why animals should not be kept in zoos is because when they are stressed, they don’t breed. They don’t create babies. When they die the zoo has to get hold of a new animal from somewhere else. Some of these animals will come from the wild where they should be left alone. This is not helping conservation but hurting it.

In America there are many private zoos. This means zoos owned by a person rather than a business or corporation. There aren’t many rules on how these people should look after the animals.

People who have their own small zoo like to think of their animals as pets. Often, they like to keep large animals like tigers and lions. These zoos are often of poor quality. The animals live in poor conditions. Sometimes kids get hurt or are killed. Also, if the person who owns the zoo becomes ill or is unable to look after the animals, what happens to them? There is no back up. The animals can suffer.

There have been stories of animals escaping from private zoos. Or the zoo keeper lets them out. When this happens the animals are nearly always killed by the police because they are dangerous. This is another reason why animals should not be kept in zoos.

People who have their own mini-zoo sometimes don’t understand how to look after their animals. They don’t realise how much it will cost to feed them and provide veterinary care. When this happens the animals suffer. They can become very ill and die. There are people who rescue these animals such as Big Cat Rescue. The fact that Big Cat Rescue exists means that there are quite a lot of wild cats in zoos who are suffering.

Another reason why animals should not be kept in zoos is because their existence tells the world that people have failed in allowing animals to live in the wild. Zoos are a symptom of failure. If all wild animals were allowed to live in wild places where they are meant to live there would be no need for zoos. We could still see the animals in the wild. It would be more difficult to see them but they could still be seen and enjoyed.

As there is a better alternative to zoos why do we have them? The answer is that they make money for people. The way zoo animals are used can be seen in the famous white tiger. You see a beautiful wild cat. Behind the scenes there are many white tigers born with physical defects which are sadly ugly because of ‘genetic problems’. People made this problem.

Truly if you think animals should be kept in zoos, you will think that people are better than animals and that we can use animals for our entertainment. If you believe people should respect all animals then you won’t want animals to be kept in zoos because it is unfair on them.

Don’t think that animals don’t feel emotions. They do. More people are gradually realising this. As wild animals feel emotions and as they have natural instincts to live in the wild, they are bound to feel unhappy in a cage with concrete underfoot rather than grass and earth with the sky and sun overhead. Do we have the right to make animals unhappy and ill for our entertainment?

However, there are some bright moments of conservation instigated by zoos. As many species are becoming endangered the conservation aspect of zoos is becoming more important as a last resort. An example is a critically endangered female western lowland gorilla and her male companion, both born in France at Zoo Parc de Beauval. Their names are Maycombe and Djongo respectively. They were shipped out to a national park in south-east Gabon where the mother gave birth to an infant in the wild. That is contributing to conservation and it is marked as a great success indicating its unusualness.

P.S. Anyone can add their thoughts to this essay in a comment below. I’d welcome them. I may well use your ideas in the essay because this essay was written in one go from my head (without looking at anything else). This means I may have missed something.

P.P.S See more essays on PoC.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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35 Responses

  1. Gbemiga raji says:

    This helped more thank you could even imagine opened my eyes wildly Thank you ever so much sir #SAVE ANIMALS

  2. Gbemiga raji says:

    This helped so very much sir appreciate it thank you

  3. Sarah says:

    Im writing a essay on this because I feel it deserves more reccognition another good point you could use in the future is about how some animals are sold to the zoo! In my essay I illistrated what it would feel like to be an animal ” to illistrate this Imagine being in a cage lets say your nocturnal so your asleep when the kids are their, your trying to sleep but you keep getting awoke by the little kids you dont understand banging on the glass” Im putting this out here because I want anyone who disagrees to understand what it might feel like to be in this position.

  4. tomas says:

    thank you i have wanted to hear those words for years i love animals and they love me too i agree with u and also thanks for helping me on my essay it was really good bye

    • Thanks Tomas for commenting. As you can see I don’t believe in zoos. We can do so much better in wild animal conservation. For many animals zoos are cruel places causing stress and premature death.

  5. Albert Schepis says:

    One thing here made me think: the horrible fact that big cats born in captivity for our amusement live in prison-like conditions, on concrete and sometimes never even feel grass beneath their feet. I recall a youtube video of one such lion named Will who after 13 years was rescued from that (–QNNqQ). There are videos of other animals, and lions who were shipped back to an African sanctuary which was even nicer for them. (

    • Michael Broad says:

      Yes, the zoos in America and the UK are good compared to those in developing countries where the conditions are horrendously cruel. And when there is war the animals die of starvation. It is ghastly.

  6. Destiny says:

    would u like it if u were trapped In a cage

  7. Aryan Vishnu rao says:


  8. Sample says:

    Nice Post, keep sharing like this.

  9. azrayha says:

    they even kill the animals that is so cruel.

  10. azrayha says:

    this helped me on my essay i do not think animals should be kept in zoos because there is a lot of cruelty. they use things and test it on the animals.they need to see freedom. they deserve to be free. they do not want to see poking all the time on the glass. they put drugs in the animals. even the animals have to stay in a cage some of them. some have to be far away cause they can jump. they need to roam around a little. they are shaving the sheep fur to use as clothe. they dont deserve it.

  11. Keana says:

    Animals should not be kept in zoos.They kill animals in zoos for almost no reason.:\ Im mad

  12. Keana says:

    This really helped me on my research essay

  13. michael says:

    well i loved using this for my assigment thank bby

  14. Ruby says:

    This is really a good essay it helped me out in my homework.

  15. muireann aka Dee(Sacramento) says:

    I know your talking a bout individual private zoo’s. But I just wanted to say that a lot of Zoo’s such as Folsom, and the San Francisco take in animals that have been deemed unfit for the wild. Which means they were injured and recovered but could no longer survive in the wild. Such as one of the Sea Lions Silent knight who is blind. Or there is a Red Hawk who can’t fly who resides at Folsom. And there is a hotel and resort in San Diego that cares for two blind seals.

    What would you do with these poor creatures besides give them a death sentence by returning them to the wild.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thanks for your comment. I agree there are some good points about zoos such as the one you made. However, the essay is about the bad points so I stuck to the topic. Also there will be other organisations who rescue wild animals, I suspect. I don’t think zoos do any good for wild animals in the long term. They harm our relationship with wild animals. I know many people disagree with me and that is okay.

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