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13 Times Zoos Were Bad for Animals

Zoos are businesses that capitalize on breeding, buying, and selling animals. Their main priority is profit, not animal welfare. How do we know?

1. Because these penguins are on anti-depressants.


The Humboldt penguins at Scarborough Sea Life Centre have been prescribed antidepressants because they’re so unhappy.

2. Because this giraffe was killed and fed to lions when he had outlived his “usefulness.” (NSFW)


He was 2 years old.

3. Because a gorilla was shot and killed after escaping from an “award-winning” exhibit at the Dallas Zoo.


4. Because the Gaza Zoo painted stripes on these donkeys to make them look like zebras.


5. Because in 2003, the San Diego Zoo and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo imported 11 captured African elephants from Swaziland.


Elephants are good for ticket sales, and even the biggest zoos steal them from the wild.

6. Because in 2006, several accredited zoos imported 33 monkeys who had been illegally trafficked by poachers in Africa.


They could have worked with wildlife rehabilitators to return the primates to their natural habitat.

7. Because 90 percent of public aquariums studied had animals who demonstrated stereotypic (neurotic) behavior.


These included interacting with invisible boundaries, repeatedly raising their heads above the surface of the water, spinning around an imaginary object, and frequently turning on one side and rubbing along the floor of the tank.

8. Because from 2006 to 2009, Missouri’s Dickerson Park Zoo handed over “surplus” giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, wallabies, and exotic antelopes to questionable entities.


These included Buddy Jordan, a notorious animal dealer who is known to have sold animals to hunting ranches, exotic-animal breeders, dealers, and unaccredited zoos.

9. Because New Jersey’s Cape May County Zoo sold two giraffes to an animal broker who then sold them to a traveling circus.


10. Because when baby animals who were exhibited in the Minnesota Zoo’s yearly farm display grew up and lost their youthful appeal, the zoo sent them to livestock auctions.


From there, many are ultimately sent to slaughter.

11. Because the chief of veterinary services at the Cleveland Zoo has even called on members of the zoo community to support the use of surplus zoo animals in medical experimentation.

Frick Monkey In Lab

12. Because a bear starved to death at the Toledo Zoo after zoo officials locked her up to hibernate without food or water.


They didn’t know that her species doesn’t hibernate.

13. Because a kangaroo at the Cleveland Zoo had to be euthanized after being struck by a train running through the exhibit.

She was at least the fifth animal to be struck by the train.

These are only a few of the many examples of ways in which zoos have failed the animals they claim to care about.

The solution is easy: Instead of supporting zoos, support organizations that help protect the animals in their natural habitat.


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