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Derek Smith

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Do zoos help biodiversity conservation?

Zoos are becoming more aware of the role they can play in preventing species extinction. The California Condor, the black-footed ferret, and the Przewalski’s horse have all been saved from extinction because of zoos. Zoos also aid conservation by inspiring people to learn more about the diversity of life. However for every species saved in a zoo, hundreds if not more will perish outside of zoos. Is the role of the zoo to showcase and educate the public about the organisms they keep in captivity or should they also focus on conservation outside zoo boundaries?

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    Jun 7 2012: I agree with most of the comments below,especially Stephanie's. Zoos should eventually focus on conservation outside of the zoo boundaries but before they do that they should work on improving their own systems. By creating better habitats and lives for the animals living in the zoo hopefully one day they can create release programs. Making more educational and outreach focused would be a better use of the space and animals rather than having people just come and look.

    I think zoos would attract a lot more attention and support if they were trying to better communities and ecosystems by creating captive breeding programs.
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      Jun 8 2012: Unfortunately I think the most important aspect of a zoo is the human-animal relationship which is a negative attribute when releasing an animal into the wild because the humans would be imprinted on the animals. Also the zoo would have to change their method of feeding so they can learn to hunt on their own instead of relying on humans to bring their food to them.

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