Surely almost every person has gone to a zoo at least once in his or her lifetime. Some of these people like the opportunity to see rare animals from different continents live; others feel sorry because of the bad conditions in which some species are being kept. Should zoos be closed and the animals returned in their natural habitats or not?
Most people like animals and they would love to get closer to them, explore their outlook, habits and skills. That is what zoos are for - to display different species in a way encyclopedias and television cannot. The sight of the roaring lion, the mighty elephant or the elegant panther is really astonishing, especially for children. Going to a zoo is an experience hard to forget, as it is unique - most people just cannot afford going to a specific animal's home country in order to observe it in its natural surroundings.
On the other hand, the lack of natural environment is indeed what makes the debate about zoos so ardent. Most animals' cages are just too small for the creatures to feel comfortable, run or even walk a long distance. Animals are literally trapped in their small metal cages for lifetime, like prisoners. Furthermore, there is always the possibility that some species could be disturbed by visitors or even poisoned with bad food if the security in the zoo is not good enough. Depriving a living thing of its freedom is an act many people consider brutal and immoral.
In conclusion, it is true that zoos provide a unique chance for many people to explore different species closely and in an interesting manner. But if these facilities are to remain, owners must make the conditions in zoos much more appropriate for animals by enlarging their cages and providing medical treatment if necessary.