One cannot force a living creature to liver in a place where it can never belong. This does not only apply to people, but also to every little thing that lives. One cannot put tropical plants in very cold places. Likewise, you cannot have a happy fish out of water. Human beings who are used to the dry desert may not be able to survive in rainforests. This assumed law in nature is applied to most creatures in the animal kingdom. Wild animals should live in their natural habitats, not within a cramped space enclosed in walls.
There are reasons people should know about wild animals belonging in their natural habitats. Although it may seem to a lot of people that belonging in the zoo can be good for these animals, it is not always the case. It can raise the awareness of these people about these animals. Their presence within closer contact to these people can be inspiring and life changing.
However, these animals simply do not belong behind closed doors. Keeping an animal from their rightful habitats can repress their animal instincts. They become unpredictable. Second, cages can destroy the spirit of these animals. They might loose the essence of being called wild animals. Third, the balance existing in their natural habitats can be permanently damaged as the ratio between predator and prey shifts.
Keeping wild animals from their natural habitats, either at the zoo or at home, can repress animal instincts. It, in return, can be very unpredictable. He can either turn against those who took care of him or act on instinct no matter how much was taught to him by trainers. The animal may be easily taken from the wild, but the wild cannot be taken from the animal. That is his nature, and it would take years of evolution to change that fact.
According to McLeod, another potential problem about this fact is that wild animals can be really dangerous because of his massive size. He did not belong in an enclosed space. When he is kept within one, the animal inside would only want the space he once lived in back. He knows he does not belong there, and that fact can only make him more aggressive, or depressed.
In this regard, the second reason behind animals being kept in the zoo is the fact that there is a strong possibility that the spirit—the very element that makes him a wild animal—might break. An animal without a spirit will not care if he died. Wild animals simply do no belong in cages so that people can view them. No matter how much zoo owners try to make their place seem like the wild, it is still not the place for these animals to live. They belong in the jungle where they can lay their paws on unrefined soil. In the wild, they will always feel the breeze through their furs and skins. In their natural habitats, they are able to make use of their muscles, brains and instincts. To have these animals live in zoos, feeding them and taking care of them makes the animal more like a pet than a wild animal.
He does not belong behind steel bars. Instead, these animals should be where they truly belong. When living behind bars, no matter how much space is given to them, they are not free. They learn to be dependent on their care takers. They loose the reasons behind the label wild animal. As earlier mentioned, they can be repressed animals. They can be very unpredictable. They can bite or lick a person’s hand. When he resolves to the latter, he is a pet. They could loose the meaning of being wild. They could be the friendliest animal a person can pat on the head on. It destroys his being. A lion is not a lion if he does not bare his teeth. He simply becomes a cat blown out of proportion.
More importantly, to put a wild animal within captivity destroys the balance of predator and prey in the wild. There are reasons behind these animals called to be wild. They are the predators who lurk in shadows, and within tall grasses. They put a balance to the growth of prey. They feast on these animals for as long as history can tell about them. To enclose them within a space far from their natural homes, these preys can one day out number these predators, and perhaps become the aggressive animals in the cycle of life in the future. Wild animals seem to be domesticated, and prey becomes the predator.
The balance is not only altered, but placed in opposite directions that do not make sense. A predator running away from his prey does not display balance. It is simply absurd. Furthermore, as the aforementioned source said, the wild animal may not be able to adapt well in their new homes. This becomes a problem in balance because the aggressor can become prey to science, technology and man.
In conclusion, wild animals will only belong in the wild. When enclosed in a cage, wild animals become unpredictable as his instincts become repressed. His spirit may be torn as he may loose the meaning of being a wild animal. However, the most important effect of all is that when the animal is taken from the wild, the wild is not a wild at all. It is rendered to be a place where prey no longer becomes prey as they are able to roam freely without fear. Wild animals do not belong in a home or a zoo. He does not need any human being to feed him, or to clean him. He has existed in the wild without human supervision for so many years, and he will continue to survive all endeavors without one.
McLeod, Lianne. “Wild Animals as Pets.” About.com. 2008. April 27, 2008 <http://exoticpets.about.com/od/exoticpetsissues/a/wildanimals.htm>.