Despite the kind public image they want to show and their false impression of educating people and preserving species, zoos and aquariums are nothing but centres of confinement for animals.
Their real aim is to obtain economic reward from the exhibition of hundreds of captive animals. These animals are kept in captivity in conditions that are truly against their nature. Why you might ask? It’s for the entertainment and amusement of the general public, who ignore the emotional and physical suffering the animals go through.
A survey by Animal Equality (Igualdad Animal) about the conditions of zoos in Spain:
According to their nature as entities with a lucrative purpose, the priority of zoos is to keep a large collection of animals in order to attract the attention of the thousands of visitors per year. Thus, the animals become mere objects at the service of a business that deals with their lives and which sentences millions of innocent animals to a life in prison.
The premises of these centres do not have, in the majority of cases, the basic requirements to satisfy the most elemental needs of the animals they keep.
Animals from different species are kept in cages and areas with reduced dimensions and with no environmental enrichment.
The basic needs of each species are not taken into account, for example it is very common to find that animals which are gregarious in nature (those who usually live in groups) are kept in the most absolute solitude (living in individual cells), while others which are solitary are kept in groups.
In addition to this, the animals are usually left unattended and with very little health care, and thus it is common to find that animals die as a consequence of some health problem which was not properly cared for. This does not only mean the death of the animals that get sick, but also that they suffered a long, painful and agonising death.
The psychological effects of this permanent confinement in such repulsive living conditions are devastating and they are visible. Animal present with a wide range of abnormal patterns of behaviour, such as obsessive-compulsive movements, eating disorders, self-mutilations, disorders in sexual behaviour, apathy, aggressiveness and stereotyped behaviour.
Zoo in Santillana del Mar (Cantabria):
After years of fading away behind the bars of their prisons, these animals reach an old age or they get sick and they are no longer attractive to be on display. The fate of these individuals is either being killed or sold to hunters who eventually will also bring an end to their lives using them as preys in their private hunting reserves.
It is also usual that those animals that are not very profitable are sold to circuses where their torture and exploitation will continue.