Over the past 50 years, the functions of zoos have changed significantly. Initially, they were intended to maintain wild animals in the areas where they had not spread and demonstrate them to the urban population and the city tourists. In addition, the construction of zoos implied a scientific function, as they present an excellent opportunity to research wild animals nearby and analyze their habits, instincts, and behavior in relatively comfortable conditions. However, these days, when the population’s awareness of ecological issues, including the problem of endangered species, is gradually rising from year to year, the zoos are expected to accomplish a new function. Conservation has become an integral part of their activity, as well as promoting the necessity to care for nature and animals with respect, educating the public on this topic, and providing some methods of realization of these intentions. Maintaining species and breeding them present a matter of extreme importance for their survival.
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Despite having beneficial for the entire society and nature aims, zoos have to encounter serious economic pressures. To realize the conservation ideas, additional funding is essential. However, according to Keulartz (2015), zoos’ investment in this sphere is not sufficient and frequently low. Tribe and Booth claim that “zoos devote at least 10 % of their income to in situ conservation” (as cited in Keulartz, 2015, para. 23). The cost of comfortable animal management is extremely high, as an organization should provide the endangered species with living conditions, which are relatively close to their natural habitats, including the vast territories. Moreover, the biodiversity factor should be taken into consideration too to breed animals successfully and prevent them from becoming extinct. One of the most difficult issues addresses the skill of hunting, procuring food, and surviving, as animals lose this skill in captivity. This way, conservation in zoos should be supplied with sufficient funding by various methods, implying encouraging the visitor to donate. Elsewise, the aim to prevent wild animals from extinction cannot be realized.
Endangered Species List
To minimize the negative influence on the life-sustaining activity of wild animals by human beings, it is crucial to understand which factors lead them to become endangered. The first and the major factor is the destruction the natural habitats. Urbanization, deforestation, and water pollution deprive birds, fish, reptiles, insects, and mammals of appropriate environmental conditions. In addition, water pollution, especially plastic, thrown in the ocean, kill its inhabitants. Frequently, fish or turtles mistake plastic for food and die after swallowing. It is also a common sight when animals get trapped in the rubbish and stay unable to release.
Another factor, which animals regularly incur, is poaching, and this commitment not only leads to including particular species in the list of endangered ones but also become the reason for extinction. That depicts a sorrowful picture, how greed, a desire to derive enrichment, and cruelty claim thousands of animals’ lives and threaten the entire world. This way, human activity affects nature and its inhabitant more significantly than any other factor, gradually expanding the Endangered Species List.
Today, zoos attempt to adjust to the present-day developments, minimize the harm, which might be done by visitors, and draw their attention to the ecological problems. A high-technology innovation, implying taking a virtual trip to a zoo and observing one of the endangered species lives in real-time, has become a great solution. I have tried this option too and chosen to observe elephants, and my findings are presented below:
|Elephant habitat at the Houston Zoo 1300 pm 8/29/20.|
|Description: there are four elephants in the zoo, including one male adult, one female adult, and three babies. Their skin is grayish with a light brown tone, and their body hair is sparse and coarse.|
|12:00 PM||The elephants were eating the food items supplied by the zoo staff.|
|1:00 PM||The elephant family was lying on the ground in the shade.|
|2:00 PM||The elephants were taking a dust bath.|
|3:00 PM||The elephant family was walking around their area, and the babies were running and playing with each other.|
|4:00 PM||The elephants were out of sight of the web camera.|
The virtual trip and observing animals online have been both educative and engaging experiences. It appeared to be an excellent opportunity to explore elephants, understanding that the human’s curiosity did not harm them. Furthermore, I could follow a link and enjoy watching elephants’ behavior at any time. Therefore, I noticed all the behavioral changes and habits of animals at different times of the day. This experience has broadened my mind and made my perception of wild animals’ lives wider.
The Impact of Technology on Conservation
Accomplishing an educative function for the broad masses, the observing animal on webcam has the potential to contribute to solving the conservation issues. First of all, this opportunity makes exploring wild animals easy, convenient, and e. Therefore, this method stimulates the interest and installs an indifferent attitude to the problem of endangered species, and the necessity to take action is promoted. The more the idea becomes popular, the greater chances to make the difference. In summary, watching the animals’ lives via telephones and computers is an effective solution for this ecological problem.
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Keulartz, J. (2015). Captivity for conservation? Zoos at a crossroads. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 28, 335-351. Web.