Fifth Grade Writing
By Deena Tarleton
Our very talented fifth graders are ratcheting up their skills of persuasion by taking opposing positions concerning various issues. For one assignement, they researched information about zoos and what various experts considered to be the plusses and minuses of having zoos with captive animals. After much class discussion about both sides of the issue, each student wrote a persuasive piece supporting a particular point of view. If you recall the persuasive writing in third where students explored considering their audience (e.g. Alan, teachers, parents, me) in developing an argument for more recess time, staying up later and other topics, reading the next two articles will give you a sense of the development of student writing from younger grades to fifth grade. These two pro and con papers are illustrative of the excellent work by our fifth grade students. I think you would agree with me that critical thinking is certainly a part of that development.
Why Zoos Are Good
Did you know if we don't do something to protect animals the next generation may not see some species such as the Sumatran Rhinos, Red Panda, or the Silverback Gorilla? Do zoos provide more benefits for animals or are they more harmfull? I believe that zoos are more beneficial to animals because they provide education, they rescue and rehabilitate injured or sick animals, and they keep endangered species from becoming extinct.
One reason zoos are needed, is that they are a great source of education. For example, if you live in the city and wish to see wildlife, you can go to your local zoo to interact and learn about any species. Some of these species that you see, you may never get the chance to see again if you don't go to a zoo. The Zoology Lost World Article states that zoos also give you a better education by describing all about the animal and its habitat. Without zoos, you might not know as much about an animal as you do today. This gives you more information and knowledge because it shows you what sound an animal makes and can tell you a lot about the animal.
Another reason we need zoos is that zoos take in injured animals and nurse them back to health to later be released into the wild again. According to the zoology lost world article this is important because if there were no zoos, then many of these species would become extinct. For example, if zoos get an eagle with a broken wing that doesn't know how to live in the wilderness, they would take it in, nurse it back to health, and teach it how to survive in the wilderness. This is also important because if you released an animal that doesn't know how to fly, would not survive on its own. Many zoos such as the Big Bear Alpine zoo are working on releasing animals that they have rescued back into the wild once they have healed.
Lastly, one of the biggest ways zoos help is by keeping many endangered species from becoming extinct. The article 8 Zoos Helping Animals Edge out of Extinction states "Without their dedicated conservation efforts, some animals would be lost to us forever." Take the Red Panda for example. The only reason that there are Red Pandas still living is because zoos have given Red Pandas a protected place inside zoos and started breeding the species. Zoos breed endangered species which helps boost their population and bring the animals back to healthy numbers.
In conclusion, we need zoos because they provide education, they rescue injured or sick animals, and they save endangered species. As you can see, zoos provide important services for both animals and for people, and these are the reasons why we should keep and expand them. "There are bad zoos and bad individual exhibits but there is always room for improvement," Dr. Dave Hone stated in the Zoology Lost World Article.
Imagine that you're a bird and people have put you in an enclosure in which you can barely spread your wings. That's how it feels to birds and many other animals when they are captured and put into zoos. If you're a cheetah, you need to be able to run and if you're a fish or a sea creature of some sort you need to be able to swim in a large area.
Many animals, mostly carnivores, should not be in captivity. According to the Science AAAS carnivores such as polar bears and leopard should not be held in captivity. The study shows that a polar bear that is in a zoo paces back and forth and a leopard plucks out its hairs. They think this is because the animals are being held back from doing what they normally do. A heated topic today is whether or not zoos should still be in business.
I believe that zoos should not be in business because a zoo is like a prison for animals. Animals need to be able to do what comes naturally to them like swimming for fish and flying for a bird, and some animals are losing their natural instincts because they've been held captive for too long. Also, after being in zoos for a long time.animal's behavior changes may become different. Let's say that they were let back out into the wild, they might not know how to respond if a predator attacks.
Secondly, people usually say that zoos provide a good learning experience, but really they don't. In a recent survey by CAPS (the Captive Animals' Protection Society) of 2,800 people, 63% of them did not have a good learning experience. This survey also stated that many children have a negative response to their zoo experience. They do not learn about how animals actually live because the animals are kept in unnatural habitats. Children also do not feel that they can change how animals are treated and do not feel empowered. Clearly, it is false to assume that zoos provide valuable education.
Finally, animals were not put on this earth for our entertainment. In my opinion, animals have the right to live on there own. According to the Zoocheck Canada, on average people spend less that two minutes (117 seconds to be exact) at one exhibit at the zoo. This is why we should not have zoos.
In 2010 an undercover investigator for CAPS filmed animals that were sick and untreated and dead left to rot on the floor of the Tweddle Farm Zoo. Police also confiscated a monkey that had been left alone and was being fed junk food like cakes. These are some examples of zoo keepers not taking care of the animals. Some zoos (especially in the UK) train their animals to do tricks. CAPS found out that there was an elephant that had been previously trained using an electric goad. (Which is an electric shock) This is a deal of harm to an animal. This is why we should not have zoos.