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Where do captive animals come from?

Animals held captive in zoos, circuses, aquariums, laboratories, and canned hunting ranches are often stolen from the wild or are bred in captivity. After animals in circuses, for example, have outlived their usefulness as performers, they are either permanently relegated to winter quarters (often cages) or are sold to other circuses, zoos, private menageries, game farms (where they are shot for “recreation” or for “exotic” meat), or even research laboratories.

We at PETA prefer to learn about animals on their terms, in their own natural environments—not at their expense. To learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at circuses, aquariums, zoos, and other facilities, see PETA’s factsheets on the use of animals in the “entertainment” industry.