Should Zoos exist?

該有動物園嗎?

正方1

動物園教育大眾關於動物的保育觀念

 

在2019年四月,美國已經有236座官方動物園,而動物園一年吸引超過一億八千萬人次的觀光客,超過了NFL、NBA和MLB的一年總和觀眾(大約一億三千一百萬人次)。

 

根據生態保育團隊研究了26個世界上的動物園後,發現觀光客到動物園可以增加他們對於生物多樣性和如何保育的知識。

 

美國人道協會的執行長Robin Ganzert, PhD主張”動物園提供了人類,特別是小孩子,一個機會可以近距離看到這些令人驚奇的動物。人們不會保護他們不愛的東西,也不會愛上他們不了解的東西,不論動物星球頻道如何深刻地描繪動物的樣子,都不及直接看到動物來的那樣栩栩如生,而這個簡單的道理,只要從孩子們在動物園觀看老虎以及其他雄偉動物的眼睛中,就可以很明顯地看出來。

正方2

動物園對於科學研究有很大的幫助

 

在1993年至2013年之間,有228個官方的動物園發表了5175份可經公評的研究手稿,在2017年,美國有173家官方的動物園花費了兩千五百萬研究了485種動物及其亞種,並展開了1280個研究項目,並發表了170個研究手稿。

因為有非常多的疾病可以透過動物傳染到人體,像是伊波拉、鼠類病毒以及禽流感,動物園經常會在野生動物群以及自己眷養的動物群體中進行疾病監測的研究,避免這些動物可能影響人類的健康,舉例來說,紐約布朗克斯動物園的獸醫警告衛生官員西尼羅河病毒的存在。

 

動物研究也用在很多地方,好比協助漁業貿易法提供法源依據,或是幫助工程師可以做出像是蛇一樣移動的機器人,和鼓勵少數族裔的學生得以朝STEM職涯發展。

正方3

動物園使滅絕以及瀕臨危險的動物得以生存

 

動物園防止了澳洲夜宴蛙、山地紫羚、吸蜜鳥、巴拿馬金蛙、河鱷龜、遠東豹和金獅面猴的滅絕。

 

動物園還致力於拯救北極熊、老虎和野生非洲象免於棲息地消失、猿猴和犀牛得以免於獵人的捕捉、海豚及鯨魚免於漁船的捕撈,、蜜蜂和蝴蝶免於產量的減少,以及對於許多其他動物的幫助。

 

23%的鳥類和47%的小型哺乳類(重量小於2.2磅)受到氣候變遷的影響,動物園透過保持動物的數量以及幫助野外動物的繁殖,可以幫助物種避免氣候變遷所帶來的危害,1985年野生的加州禿鷹只有9隻,而透過聖地牙哥和洛杉磯動物園以及其他組織的共同努力,到了2016年,野生禿鷹達到了276隻,而人工飼養的加州禿鷹則有170隻。

 

蒙古野馬是世界上最後的野馬,在1960年宣布滅絕,當時大約有12匹蒙古野馬在動物園中,而到了2018年,動物園的繁殖計畫使馬匹的數量來到2400匹,並將其中800匹也放置野外。

Pro 1

Zoos educate the public about animals and conservation efforts.

As of Apr. 2019, there are 236 accredited zoos in the United States. The zoos attract over 181 million visitors annually, which is more than the approximately 131 million yearly spectators of the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB combined. [5][6][7][8][9][10]

According to a study of 26 zoos worldwide published in Conservation Biology, visitors to zoos increased their knowledge of biodiversity and specific individual actions to protect biodiversity. [11]

Robin Ganzert, PhD, President and CEO of American Humane, stated, “zoos provide people, especially impressionable children, with the opportunity to see these remarkable animals up close. People won’t protect what they don’t love, and they can’t love what they don’t know. No matter how closely programs like Planet Earth depict animals, nothing will match the bond of seeing them in real life. Just look at a child’s eyes at the zoo when he or she encounters a tiger or similarly majestic animal.” [12]

 

Pro 2

Zoos produce helpful scientific research.

228 accredited zoos published 5,175 peer-reviewed manuscripts between 1993 and 2013. [13] In 2017, 173 accredited US zoos spent $25 million on research, studied 485 species and subspecies of animals, worked on 1,280 research projects, and published 170 research manuscripts. [14]

Because so many diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans, such as Ebola, Hantavirus, and the bird flu, zoos frequently conduct disease surveillance research in wildlife populations and their own captive populations that can lead to a direct impact on human health. For example, the veterinary staff at the Bronx Zoo in New York alerted health officials of the presence of West Nile Virus. [15]

Zoo research is used in other ways such as informing legislation like the Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act, helping engineers build a robot to move like a sidewinder snake, and encouraging minority students to enter STEM careers. [37][38][39]

Pro 3

Zoos save species from extinction and other dangers.

Corroboree frogs, eastern bongos, regent honeyeaters, Panamanian golden frogs, Bellinger River snapping turtles, golden lion tamarins, and Amur leopards, among others, have also been saved from extinction by zoos. [16]

Zoos are also working to save polar bears, tigers, and wild African elephants from habitat loss, apes and rhinos from poachers, dolphins and whales from hunters, and bees and butterflies from population declines, among many other efforts to help many other animals. [17][18][19][20]

23% of birds and 47% of small mammals (weighing less than about 2.2 pounds) are negatively impacted by climate change. [21] By keeping populations of animals and conducting wild repopulation, zoos can help preserve species in danger from climate change. There were only nine California condors in the wild in 1985. A joint conservation effort between the San Diego and Los Angeles Zoos with other organizations resulted in a population of 276 California condors in the wild and another 170 in captivity by 2016. [22][23]

Przewalski’s horses, the last wild horses, were declared extinct in the wild in the 1960s when about 12 lived in zoos. By 2018, breeding programs at zoos increased the number to 2,400 horses, and 800 were reintroduced to the wild. [24][25]