Most animals kept caged up in zoos will never know how living free feels. Take for example Atlanta's own Willie B. Willie B. is probably Atlanta's most famous animal, but do you think he cares or even knows. All he knows is that he has been sitting in a cage for over 20 years. Willie B. does not know what his natural habitat is or even looks like. He has never had a chance to hunt, play about, or until recently even mate. He has just been sitting in a cage day after day watching people watching him.
A lot of animals caged in zoos are taken out of their natural environment and climate. These animals are often forced to live in climates they are not adapted to or even capable of adapting to. One good example of this is a polar bear. Polar bears are animals who are used to sub-zero temperatures and putting them in a place like Atlanta, where the temperature can reach well into the 90's is cruel. For an animal like the elephant, however, it is the opposite. Elephants are used to tropical temperatures year round. But some elephants are forced to live in places where the temperature is below freezing for months. Animals like these are not capable of adapting to climates humans force then into.
As a kid I used to love going to the zoo and seeing all of the different
animals. I did not use to think twice about how the animals must feel
trapped in those small cages. But now as I am learning more about
freedom and free will to choose to live how I wish, I am forced to take a
step back and look at these caged animals. I realize these animals have
the same desire for freedom that I have. Putting myself in their shoes I
have also come to realize that caging animals for entertainment is wrong.
Outline version of this paper