Many times, their enclosures are dirty and barren (Lacy, 1991). Zoo owners make little attempt at replicating native habitats, and instead provide the animal stagnant drinking water. Zoos are not necessary for education; instead, they are unethical to animals.
Both wild parks and zoos often severely restrict the animal’s natural behavior from exploring, digging, foraging, scavenging, climbing, hunting, running, swimming or flying. They are often not allowed to select a partner, or have physical contact, which can lead to mental and physical frustration and neurotic, abnormal behavior due to captivity (Christie, 2009). There are countless records of frustrated and depressed animals attempting to escape, often times ending in tragedy. Animals that lash out are often “taken down” and placed in tighter constraints, or shipped off to an even worse facility to live out their lives. Animals that attempt to regain their freedom often meet deadly force.
From the viewpoint of the animals’ welfare, it seems inherently wrong to keep them captive against their will. Depriving them of their natural habitat in a tight confined space prize each species there opportunity for natural companionship and social structures. Forcing animals to live in close proximity to human beings and non-indigenous species is unnatural. The totality of their existence often leads to being bored, depressed and frustrated. Animals attempting to regain their freedom are often punished with severe repercussions, relocation to a new facility, or death. It does appear as though animals are being treated unfairly and unethically when held in captivity.