Why You Should Never Watch Live Zoo Cameras
During lockdown, some zoos started live broadcasts of animals they hold captive. Meaning that, while we’ve been stuck at home – pacing back and forth and missing our friends and family – some of us have turned to watching animals who are forced into a permanent lockdown for entertainment.
These animals should be free to roam in nature. When we watch them on live zoo cameras, we’re viewing footage of a prison holding innocent individuals captive in claustrophobic cells.
Watching other animals languishing in captivity while we grapple with the psychological toll of a temporary lockdown not only is nonsensical but also perpetuates the cruelty rampant in the zoo industry. For us, there’s an end in sight to the stay-at-home order. For the animals trapped in zoos, lockdown has no end – unless we all stop funding their misery.
What’s Wrong With Zoos?
Zoos are in the business of misery – from taking wild animals from their homelands and disrupting their familial bonds to breeding them in captivity only to subject them to a lifetime of imprisonment.
In zoos, their every move – including what to eat, when to sleep, and who their mate is – is controlled by humans. They can’t roam vast distances or do many of the other things that are natural and important to them. Most aren’t even allowed to stay with their families, as young animals are commonly transferred, traded, or sold to other zoos.
The daily stress and lack of stimulation often lead to abnormal and self-destructive behaviour – including pacing, walking in tight circles, rocking, swaying, and self-mutilation – a condition known as “zoochosis”.
Aren’t Zoos Good for Conservation?
Absolutely not. The vast majority of species kept in zoos are not endangered. Most zoos have no involvement of any kind with any reintroduction programmes.
This means that captive-bred species that do face extinction – including elephants, polar bears, gorillas, tigers, chimpanzees, and pandas – are rarely, if ever, released into their natural environments to bolster dwindling populations.
But Watching Animals Is Fun!
We agree – but watching live zoo cameras doesn’t do anything to help the animals we’re fascinated by, nor does it give us any real insight into how they truly like to live their lives.
Instead of watching animals on zoo cameras, opt for a nature documentary. There are plenty, but we especially like Planet Earth, March of the Penguins, and Tiny World. Or just look around you! Become an expert on the wildlife in your local area, from hedgehogs in your garden to birds flying overhead.
If you want to do more to help animals, why not watch an animal rights film?
What You Can Do for Animals in Zoos
Please don’t support zoos – don’t stream their videos or visit them once they reopen. Withhold your money from these establishments, which profit from exploiting animals. We can protect endangered species by supporting habitat conservation – not animal prisons. Take action for animals in captivity: