The are placed into captivity, they use to be

The question is, is it humane to put animals that belong in the wild, into captivity? “The first evidence of wild animals being put on public exhibition dates to 2,500 B.C.E. in Ancient Egypt (Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 3rd Edition)” (Taylor).  Even though this practice has been ongoing since then, does this make it humane? Criminals steal species to sell them or use them for entertainment. Unfortunately, when these animals are taken, often their new habitats are inadequate. The inadequacies cause the animals to suffer from many psychological and physical problems. It is these problems that show that captivity of wild animals should be considered inhumane (and should be addressed).   So, when wild animals are placed into captivity, they use to be able to satisfy many of their “instinctive” activities (e.g. mating, hunting, and migration), but now they are unable to.  Due to their inability to satisfy these “instinctive” activities, they start to suffer from many psychological problems. Depending on what activities that these animals are unable to complete, will depend on what type of problems arise. Some examples of problems are stress, anxiety, frustration, and depression. Stress, frustration, and anxiety can occur due to reducing the amount of, types of, and the space for activities that the animal is allowed (Born Free USA; Animal Welfare Institute). Depression, stress, and anxiety can occur in social creatures when the amount of and variety of socializations are reduced, which is occuring due to the lack of companionship that their social group naturally affords them (BBC). Thus, removing wild animals from their natural environments causes them to develop psychological problems.The development of psychological issues is significant, because they did not ask to be taken away. The idea of showcasing another creature is a behavior humans have created. As an explanation, “Placing an animal in surroundings that are unsuitable for the species can cause stress and behavioural problems” (RSPCA). When young animals are taken from their mothers, they get anxious. It is a significant difference for the quality of an animal’s lifestyle when they are given an enclosure 60 to 100 times smaller than their natural habitat (Simple). The unsuitable surroundings do not allow for natural occurrences. Also, because of the size of the enclosure, it does not allow for a large number of a species. This results in incomplete social structure which puts stress on the group. Frustration is caused when there is nothing for the animal to do for itself.Now, even if the psychological problems could be excused, captivity of wild animals does lead to physical problems for the animals. These physical problems can arise from a couple of different avenues that will be discussed. The first avenue is from what manifests from the animals’ psychological issues. One example can be seen with chimpanzees self-mutilating themselves when they are caged, which stems from what happens to them psychologically (Birkett, Newton-Fisher).  The second avenue is from how humans physically treat animals.  Humans have been shown to physically discipline captive animals when they do not do exactly what the human tells them to do (Humane Society of the United States). Thus, captive wild animals are usually harmed when they are placed in captivity due to the psychological state that the animal develops from captivity or their captors physically abusing them.  This development of physical problems should be considered inhumane, because of the fact that they are performing unnatural behaviors on their own, and are forced to obey to do unnatural orders. Reports show that animals live longer in the wild, “Asian elephants born in captivity typically lived for 18.9 years, while those used as working animals in Burma survived for 41.7 years” (Sample). The animals are not able to be living the most healthy conduct when they are living in cages. The stress that is caused, leads them to try and relieve it by hurting themselves. In an experiment with chimpanzees, “Bite self was shown by eight individuals across four of the groups” where the animals would bite themselves as a form of self-harm (Birkett, Newton-Fisher). When in a place like a zoo or circus, it is the job of the employees to ensure the safety of their customers. They do this “teaching” the animal to interpret their commands. The teaching style chosen by the staff is to harm the animal until the are scared enough to always do what they are told.Overall, the captivity of wild animals causes psychological and physical health issues.  Detaching animals from their natural habitat is harmful to their psychological stability (e.g. causes stress, frustration, and depression), because it prevents them from participating in their natural and “instinctive” activities by themselves or in their social groups. Besides these psychological issues, physical issues can occur from their captivity (e.g. caused by their altered psychological state or from what their captors do to them).  Both of the psychological and physical problems that arise from captivity should be considered inhumane, because of inadequately sized enclosures, poorly sized groups of animals, stress-induced self-mutilation, and abuse from their captors. Therefore, captivity of wild animals should be considered inhumane.


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