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Keeping Wild Animals in Captivity for Human Amusement

Posted on July 06 2016

For centuries humans keep wild animals in captivity for the amusement and entertainment of others. It’s a multi-million dollar business for circuses and zoos, that draws millions of people all around the world. People get excited about seeing them at close range while locked in cages and it’s great entertainment for some to watch the animals performing a variety of tricks. Most people don’t think about what happens to the animals after the show is over, how much torture and deprivation goes on behind closed doors. Here is a look at why Keeping wild animals in captivity for human amusement is not as amusing as you would think.

The abuse

Animal abuse is a common practice from circus and entertainment industry to research laboratories.We as a public only see the animals during performances, we love the shows, but how many of us really think about what happens to them on a daily basis. Did you ever think what kind of abuse and torture the animals go there during the training to be able to perform in the shows? The captive animals are mistreated and beaten by the trainers and the caretakers.They use chains, hooks, whips and electric pads to train them to perform. Research and product testing companies are another industry that forces an abnormal behavior on the animals and after they no longer need them, most of them are put down . 

Deprived freedom

Keeping  wild animals in captivity is cruelty, wild animals can not be domesticated and even the ones that live in the ZOO are not in their natural environment where they can be happy and thrive. The exotic creatures will always retain their wild instincts and keep them locked is doing them a tremendous injustice.That's why is so hard for the ZOO’s to breed these animals, very few of them are born in captivity.

The animals performing at the circuses and used for the testing industry spend their whole life in the cages, some of them never walked on the grass, or run freely, a lot of them are very depressed and show signs of aggression out of the frustration.


There have been several instances of animals attacking and killing their handlers during training or performing. The animals frustrated by years of bull hooks, beatings, and shackles one day just snap. There are several dangerous incidents each year, elephants have bolted from circuses and attacked members of the public, a lion attacked and killed his handler and much more ending in injury or handlers death.

Habitat destruction

Many industries using wild animals in their practices  claim to take a big part in the conservation of the environment and the animals. But is this really true? There are very few programs out there that address the threats that the wild animals face. Habitat destruction is the biggest threat that none of the organization has been able or cares to address.

Population decrease

The numbers of animals that live in the wild decreased tremendously over the last several years, mostly due to human behavior. We destroy their environment, poaching of the wild animals is growing and becoming a multi-million dollars business, and it’s very unlikely for animals kept in captivity to reproduce. All of the distractions and harm we, the humans do to the natural environment causes the decrease of the animal populations in the wild.

In captivity for life

Have you ever wondered what happens to the animals that are simply too old to perform? They are retired to the cages in the Zoo or other wildlife inclosers almost never freed into the wild, they are condemned to a life in captivity.

Be an advocate for the voiceless

The zoos and circuses claim that the animals kept by them have educational value for the public.This is far from the truth. What they really teach the public is that it is acceptable to remove the animals from their natural habitat and use them for human amusement. What they fail to teach their audience is that when the creatures exhibit abnormal behaviors, the root cause is the captivity-induced stress. They also fail to teach their audience what the true nature of the wild animals is.

How can we become better human beings and be an advocate for the voiceless creatures? Next time you think of visiting the zoo or the circus, think twice, you may not be able to stop a circus or a zoo from its operations, but if we all do our part and speak our mind publicly we could make a difference. As of today thanks to public pressure many of the worldwide circuses banned use of wild animal on their stages. Let’s speak loud for the ones that can’t speak for themselves and we could make a brighter future for them and become a better human being at the same time.


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