I Hate the Zoo

Although my daughter loves to see the animals, I hate going to the zoo. They are a relic of a bygone age – a Victorian concept which, as our knowledge of the animal kingdom grows, becomes even less palatable. Frustration and boredom are common amongst animals in zoos and can lead to obsessive behaviors in the form of pacing, swaying, and even self-mutilation. This is known as stereotypic behavior and such repetitive movements have also been noted in people with mental illnesses. With nothing to do, animals in zoos go insane.

Space in zoos rarely, if ever, matches the animals’ natural range. Animals who would normally roam for tens of miles a day tread the same few paces daily.  A study published a few years ago revealed that enclosures in many zoos and safari parks are on average 100 times smaller than the minimum home range in the wild for the animals they contain.

I wrote this poem after a visit to the zoo. Although there was dirty glass physically protecting the parrot from visitors and outside dangers, I could see that the bird was depressed and showing physical signs of mental stress.

Rara Avis

locked in a cell

sitting feces, urine, grime
a death sentence
for committing no crime.
children happily hammer
on fragile glass
the price paid for loving
insects and grass
feathers are missing
beak is discolored
small price paid
for a rare bird discovered.
About Andre Moore (109 Articles)
Atlanta based Food Writer, Essayist, Hunter/Angler, and World Traveler. I create meaningful experiences for my family and write about it.

3 Comments on I Hate the Zoo

  1. I’m not a fan of the zoo either, or Sea World. Once you watch “Black Fish” it’s hard to think of the serenity of Shamu ever again.

  2. I can see where you would not be a fan of zoos. I enjoy going to the zoo but more to enjoy their beauty. Seeing them in the wild would be a better alternative.

  3. Awwwww. I surely see your view point. Animals are just there for us to basically gawk over and they are really not being able to live. BUT, my kids enjoy going and it’s a great outing for us.

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