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Animals should not be held captive in zoos because it is inhumane and unfair to the animals. There are so many records of terrible things that have happened to animals in zoos over the past few centuries the go under the radar too often. Too few people even know about these animal care atrocities, and therefore the New York Times decided to bring light upon this situation.

The times did a first of its kind analysis of 390 elephant fatalities at accredited U.S. zoos for the past 50 years (Berens 3). It found that most of the elephants died from injury or disease linked to conditions of their captivity from chronic foot problems caused by standing on hard surfaces to musculoskeletal disorders from inactivity caused by being penned or chained for days and weeks at a time. Of the 321 elephant deaths for which The Times had complete records, half were by age 23, more than a quarter before their expected life spans of 50 to 60 years. For every elephant born in a zoo, on average another two die. At that rate, the 288 elephants inside the 78 U.S. zoos could be “demographically extinct” within the next 50 years because there’ll be too few fertile females left to breed, according to zoo industry research (Berens 4).

Most people think that zoos protect animals, but it can clearly be seen in the records provided by the Times that the zoos are doing the exact opposite of protecting animals. The American zoos, including the accredited ones, have led to the near demise of elephants. As if that alone isn’t enough to prove that zoos are cruel and unfair, there are many professionals and experts who gravely look down upon zoos too. Delcianna Winders, director with the PETA foundation, said “Renowned oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau reported that.

. .s in Captivity?.” The Independent (London, England). 26 Feb. 2010: 50. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Rinaldi, Ray Mark. “You Can Unpack Your Trunk Here.” Denver Post. 03 Jun. 2012: E.3. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Seely, Ron. “Sure, the Animals Are Cute, but Vilas Zoo Also Has a More Serious.” Wisconsin State Journal. 17 Dec. 2010: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

“The Bill Is Due.” Modern Healthcare 39.2 (2009): 36. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.

Winders, Delcianna. “Zoos: Misery Behind Bars.” People for the EthicalTreatment of Animals. 26 Aug. 2013: n.p. SIRS IssueResearcher. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

“Zoos Find Pandas Don’t Make the Cash to Cover Their Keep.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 07 Aug. 2005. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.

“Zoo Nutrition.” Chester Zoo. Chester Zoo. N.p.,n.d. 29 April 2014