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Animals and Zoos

This guides offers general information and resources on zoos, zoo issues, animal welfare, and concerns.

Films on Demand Service

There are a number of videos available on this subject, both on the internet and through our available databases. This page features some useful examples. For more, we recommend accessing the Films on Demand database.

Videos

Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director Ron Kagan will share a view of the future that includes a different relationship between human and non-human animals. Zoos will demonstrate a fundamental commitment to being "patient-centered” – ensuring a great quality of life for every single animal in a zoo. Not just aspirations and words but reality. He will explain the challenging responsibility involved with keeping living beings "captive" and the need to deliver on a decades-long promise to make captivity similar to (and possibly better than) the wild.

Zoos are great, right? You get to be up close and personal with some amazing animals that you'd pretty much never get to see in the wild. Clearly, zoos are a win for people. But when it comes to the animals, zoos might cause more harm than good. Should zoos exist?

For thousands of years we have taken animals out of the wilderness and put them in caged enclosures for our own amusement. However, with our contemporary understanding about the complexity of animal behavior, and the fact that most of us can see animals in their natural environment on TV, can we really justify keeping them in cages? In this film Liz Bonnin, a PhD student at the Zoological Society of London, visits zoos and speaks to scientists across the globe. From captive breeding programs and conservation, to education and welfare, Liz evaluates the role zoos have to play in the 21st century. A BBC Production.

With their gates shut to guests because of the coronavirus pandemic, zoological parks and aquariums are facing unprecedented challenges in caring for their animal populations, which – despite a paucity of paying visitors – still need to be cared for and fed.