Animals Behind Bars
The Truth About Zoos and Their
Effects on Animals
What is a Zoo?
The first official Zoo appeared in 1828
for scientific study and was known as
the London Zoological Gardens. In
1847 was opened for the public.
By definition, a Zoo is a place where wild
animals are kept for exhibition by the
public. They can be used for educational
purposes or just plain entertainment.
Upon further inspection, Zoos can be looked at as
prisons, trapping animals in unnatural habitats with
taunting onlookers. Zoos do more harm than good,
and although we cannot stop the zoo phenomena,
our Non-profit Organization, Animals Behind Bars,
can help it from getting worse.
Zoos are breeding grounds for disaster.
-They cut the life spans of animals
-Cause psychological problems
-Cause health related problems and lack
of genetic diversity
-Captive bred animals can spread
diseases in the wild
-Appalling conditions can be found in
-Limit how the animal would naturally
perform in the wild
Why do these problems occur?
In a Times article titled Free Dumbo! Zoos Are Bad for Elephants, a
survey of 4,500 captive elephants took place worldwide. “A team of
researchers from the U.K., Canada and Kenya found that once you lock
up the giant, space-loving beast, their health suffers, their median life
span plummets, and they quit breeding – the last thing you would want
for a creature you’re ostensible trying to help survive” stated the
LIFE SPAN OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS IN CAPTIVITY
Zoo-born females live a median of 16.9 years
LIFE SPAN OF ASIAN ELEPHANTS IN CAPTIVITY
LIFE SPAN OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS IN WILD
LIFE SPAN OF ASAIN ELEPHANTS IN WILD
•Zoochosis is the term coined for when an animal
becomes deeply depressed, even psychotic, as the
result of captivity.
•Zoochosis resulted from putting animals in captivity,
as it is derived from the word zoo and psychosis,
meaning a loss of contact with reality, which usually
includes delusions and hallucinations.
•Zoochosis occurs because animals are not used to
being in captivity as they belong in the wild. Being
caged in causes them to go insane.
Stereotyped Symptoms of
• Bar biting
• Tongue playing
• Neck twisting
• Head bobbing and weaving
• Self mutilation
Elephants exhibit obesity and Cardiovascular disease, which is the result
of taking in too many calories and not exercising.
Also killing captive Asian Elephants is a form a fatal herpes. Often
infected with a form of Herpes Virus are the African Elephants, and it
causes them no discomfort and little illness. However, when brought
together in captivity, the virus jumps to Asain elephants and mutates
into a lethal form, something Zoos have accidently created.
Zebras at the National Zoo in Washington D.C starved to Death because
of insufficient or incorrect food, while a panda at the same zoo died
from ingesting rat poisoning.
If zoo keepers do not take special care in making sure animals do not
inbred with eachother, mutations occur. In the UK captive bred Snow
Leopards were born with congenital deformities.
Spread of Disease
•Captive bred animals can pose a threat to wild populations by carrying diseases.
•Black Rhino contracted Haemolytic Anaemia, the body’s immune system attacks its
own red blood cells
•Arabian Oryx can carry TB, Tuberculosis.
•Animals in zoos, such as Antelope, Osterich, and Big Cats in this country and abroad,
were found to have a form of BSE, commonly known as Mad-Cow disease.
•Black Footed Ferrets were found to have Canine Distemper, contagious, incurable,
often fatal, multisystemic viral disease that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and
central nervous systems.
•In 1997 an Elephant died from Enteritis, an inflammation of the small intestine,
caused by Salmonella.
Habitats in zoos are often too
small to accommodate the
animals within them, or do not
emulate the animals natural
Animals like Zebra, Gazelle,
Elephants and Giraffes run
across miles of open terrain,
and in captivity, it’s impossible
to do so.
Limits Wild Side
• In Zoos, animals cannot be
themselves. The constant stress,
and lack of privacy enable them
to engage in natural hunting and
What Happens to (some) Animals
End up in circuses
Sold to exotic meat industry
Used for experiments
Surplus is destroyed or sold
Predictions and the Past
-Because of Zoochosis, animals will harm
themselves, other animals, and humans
EX. Woman mauled by her pet monkey in
-Living Conditions and abuse will continue
to get worse, diversity will decrease,
premature deaths will increase, and signs of
Zoochosis will spread.
Symbiotic Relationships and Biotic
Abiotic Factors Biotic Factors
•Animals Habitat •The animals living in the
•The weather affecting the zoo
habit within the zoo •Other living organisms in
•Certain birds and mammals live together in habitats,
creating a symbiotic relationship
•Commensalism- Pond of fish and tiger live together in
the same habitat-> tiger eats fish, tiger benefits.
Pt 1 -> Zoos Don’t Need Zoochosis
Part one of our plan to stop the conditions of zoos from getting worse is
to help animals with Zoochosis. By giving animals productive ways to
spend their time, healthy living conditions, and sufficient privacy, we
can eliminate Zoochosis and mental deterioration. This can be done by
providing toys for animals and engaging them in activities they would
do in the wild.
Pt 2 -> Helping the Habitats
In order for animals to feel more at home, they need to have habitats very
close to their natural environments. This means swapping out chains for
trees, and crystal clear water for a more realistic H2O. If habitats are
beyond repair or cannot be enlarged, then Zoos, with our aid, will need to
find reputable homes for those animals. In all honesty, finding new homes
for animals will be the toughest part of our plan.
• Zoos all over the USA begin to change unhealthy
• Abuse subsides and abusers are arrested
• Safety hazards for both humans and animals are
• A person or team is assigned a zoo or set of zoos
to look after. They will check for signs of
Zoochosis in animals, help animals already with
Zoochosis, and come up with plans to stop abuse
and Zoochosis, and fix habitats in those particular
Cost and Maintenance
– Relying on Government Grants, private
foundations and corporations, and careful
investing, the money we receive is used to build
and rebuild better zoos.
--The groups established at zoos will maintain the
condition of the zoos, as well as zoo keepers and
other zoo workers.