This week’s article “To Save Some Species, Zoos Must Let Others Die” by Leslie Kaufman emphasize the tough decisions that occur at the St. Louis Zoo. A daunting decision must be made by the zookeepers to choose which animals to save. The zookeepers end up speculating on which species of animal are most crucial to save. Bitter choices that are full of regret haunts every zoo. Sacrifices are necessary in order to save certain species. Behind every joyful zoo lies a dark hidden secret. It turns out that many zoos are not as “conservative” as they seem to be.
Every time you have fun in a zoo, you admire the animals without knowing that many species have died. At the St. Louis Zoo, animals are bred regularly to help them emerge from the brink of extinction. However, there are so much species of animals in the zoo that zookeeper are struggling to breed them. Because there are copious quantities of species, zoos must choose which animal to save. It is the right decision for the zoo to breed animals, but can they breed all the animals? The abrupt and cold answer is no. As you may already know, zoos need a large amount of money to sustain the animals’ lives. Money is spent on services such as food, shelter, maintenance, and healthcare of the animals. Zoos must carefully spend their budget, because once they are out of money, the animals’ lives would be at risk. Another problems that many zoos face is with animal deaths. Animals are very sensitive to their surroundings. A slight change in the environment could cause the animals to die. However, animals would roam and breed freely if they are in the wild. “St. Louis, for example, has committed$20 million — or the equivalent of 40 percent of its annual operating budget — to building an enormous exhibit for polar bears — complete with a fake ice floe — even though its last polar bear died in 2009”. This is the evidence that proves that animals such as the polar bear is very sensitive to its environment, and therefore died in St. Louis Zoo due to the fake ice. If the zoo wants the animals to live longer, they must build a facility that makes the animals feel like they are “home”.
There are many ways we can interpret this article, and we gained more insight about how hard zoo-keeping is. I think that the main message of the article is that maintaining the lives of animals is not a simple task. We must make bitter sacrifices in order to have a brighter future. Our decisions are very important, and we must not make a move hastily. Something else I learned is that animals are best left alone in the pristine nature. We, as humans, are depriving the animals away from nature from entertainment and financial purposes. Even the animals would feel uncomfortable if many zoo visitors stare at them. I think an alternative to zoos are to create a conservation park, where animals are roaming their home, while we are protecting them. Zoo keeping is very difficult and needs patience. Animals can die unexpectedly. One time at the beach, I saw a jellyfish and put it in a bucket along with seawater. After a few hours, the jellyfish had died in the bucket. I had learned then that we should take animals away from their natural habitat. They should be left in the wild, where natural breeding could occur.
In the future, everything about the conservation of animals could change drastically. Forests and ecosystems would be diminish, and more animal species would die in large numbers. Everyone should ponder about the future. We must act now and replenish nature so that in the future, animals would live freely. However, the future can change, and it is up to us to change the future.