Taku's Blog(翻訳・創作を中心に)


Is it acceptable to keep animals in a zoo?

            Since I was a little boy, I have been to zoos many times. As a child, I learnt how diverse the animal world is, as well as how affectionately each life should be treated. As I grew up, I came to understand that zoos play an important role in protecting endangered species. Given the educational value zoos offer and the contribution they make to conserving the environment, zoos are not simply acceptable but also necessary for society.

            Firstly, with a great many species in one place, visitors realise that our planet is inhabited by miscellaneous kinds of creatures. Everybody might know about black-and-white-striped horses called zebras living in a far-away continent, but learning the fact from a textbook and watching them grazing on grass, neighing, are two different things. Colourful birds from the Amazon Basin capture our imagination, while awkwardly big, sad-looking elephants awe us. Each animal kept in a zoo reflects diverse Mother Nature, and in most cases, only through strolling in a zoo and watching the animals can we notice the fact that we live on a planet teeming with so many species.

            Secondly, the zoo is the best place for developing affection towards animals. Children as well as grown-ups start to feel that each animal is a unique, fragile living creature that needs to be loved as much as we humans do. This educational factor is well known to zookeepers themselves, some of whom provide facilities where visitors can spend time with such animals as rabbits, goats and sheep. Holding a rabbit in our arms or stroking a sheep by the head, we can feel their hearts beating, their arteries carrying warm blood. Even if we are not lucky enough to play with them, we learn how precious each life is while walking freely in a zoo and watching the animals. Animals that are close to us mean far more to us than images on TV or computer screens. It is only their tangibility that lets us be free of indifference and enables us to love other species.

             Thirdly, the zoo is a place not only for displaying interesting animals, but also for protecting endangered species. Take pandas for examples. They are known to be a difficult species to breed as well as an endangered one. If zookeepers all over the world had not tried hard to help them breed, brought cubs up in an incubator and taken good care of them through their lives, the species would hitherto have become extinct, and needless to say, the panda is only one example of so many species that are on the brink of extinction.

            As stated above, the zoo is an important facility from the educational standpoint, and at the same time, it plays a key role in protecting rare animals from dying out. It is more than acceptable. (471 words)