Redefining Our Antiquated Zoos

 picture of two Green Macaws

In 2014, two Costa Rica zoos will be converted into open-space wildlife conservation centers – photo from

Both the Simón Bolívar Zoo in Barrio Amón in San José, Costa Rica and the Conservation Center of Santa Ana, Costa Rica will close down in May 2014.

According to a MINAE press release, the Simón Bolívar Zoo will be turned into a biological education center, and the conservation center will become a 51-hectare (106 acre) forest preserve.

Antiquated Zoos

A picture of a sad Orangutan in a caged zoo pen.

The capturing and caging of animals in zoos is outdated. Captive animals deserve to be in open-spaces provided by conservation centers and wildlife sanctuaries.

“Zoos” are antiquated and outdated examples of mankind’s arrogance and ignorance. These are strong words, but an accurate opinion shared by most conservationists.

Modern-day zoos are knee-deep in budgets, bureaucracy and politics – ALL of which have NO benefit for the animals.

Yes, it is important for all of us to see, touch, hear, and smell wild animals from other parts of the world.  It is crucial that we teach our children about all living things that are sharing our planet – I agree.  BUT, it is not a human right to “capture” and “imprison” other life-forms and contain them within tiny cages and metal bars.

An arial photo of the tortoise santuary

Open-spaces for the endangered tortoises at the North Texas Tortoise Sanctuary and Conservation Center.

The right thing to do is keep captive bred wildlife and animals within an open-space environment that mocks the wild. They will not know that they are not “home”, and humans can educate one another on the importance of our “neighbors” without turning them into “side-show prisoners.”

Zoos are out-of-date, and independent wildlife sanctuaries and conservation centers are the way for our future!

A picture of a tortoise facility in Florida.

Greg Lindley’s open-space, affiliate captive breeding Aldabra facility in SW Florida – this is the type of environment all captured animals thrive in – not in a caged zoo.

Setting Our Captives Free

The Costa Rican zoos’ animals, which include monkeys, a jaguar and an African lion, will be distributed throughout the country’s animal rescue centers – no bars, no small cages, no more confinement.  These animals will be “protected” within open spaces and natural food sources.

If you want to see a 700 pound Aldabra tortoise from the Mauritius Islands off Madagascar, don’t ooh and ahh over that precious animal that’s cooped up in a small, concreted zoo pen – promote the natural conservation centers that house these rare and magnificent animals within open spaces, and support the wildlife sanctuaries that place these special creatures in natural environments.

How would you feel if you were captured and forced to spend your life as a novelty for people to stare at every day as they rattle your cage ….. ?


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About Janet

Janet Starr Hull, PhD, CN has expressed a deep love and respect for the Earth since she was a very young child. She earned academic degrees in International Geography and Environmental Science. After 20 years of research, Dr. Hull uncovered evidence supporting her theory that the Earth’s geographic poles shift at the axis, causing dramatic climate change. Today, she is one of the world’s leading environmental experts promoting public environmental awareness. Connect with Dr. Hull on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

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