Tag Archives: zoos

In defence of keeping (some) animals in captivity

As a Zoology graduate, I had a surprising experience when visiting Chicago’s Lincoln Park zoo this summer: I came across an animal that I was completely unfamiliar with. Was it a furry cow? A stocky deer? The sign informed me that it was a Sichuan takin, or a “large goat antelope” from the Tibetan plateau. Discovering the existence of a group of mammals that I had never come across in my 21 years on the planet – not to mention three years at university – illustrated the important educational role of zoos more clearly than any scholarly evaluation. In an opinion piece for BBC Wildlife magazine, Chris Packham endorsed zoos as places of learning – before calling for them to “cut (most of) the ‘captive breeding for release’ crap”. Continue reading In defence of keeping (some) animals in captivity