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Letter: Zoos fill many roles in the community

To the editor,

Can you remember the first time you went to the zoo? Most people would probably think about a time when they were a kid, and their mom or dad took them to see the zoo animals.

Think about how happy you were seeing all the animals for the first time. Now imagine what it would be like if someone let all the animals free, and there were no more zoos.

Today many people will argue about the topic, should animals be kept in zoos? Zoos have many more purposes than keeping animals in cages for others to look at for enjoyment. Zoos provide animals with a safe home, creat jobs and give out knowledge and help protect animals on the endangered species list. I feel that we should be allowed to keep animals in zoos.

Animals that don't live in a zoo could argue that the wild isn't the safest place to live. Many animals fight for food, land or mates. During these fights many animals could get injured. Some may result in death.

Lots of zoos care for these animals and try to provide a safe home. In many zoos animals are not kept in cages, but rather allowed to roam freely in large open areas.

A zoo called to Boo Boo Zoo helps take care of banded, injured or disabled animals. It is two acres long and is housing 500 animals. Currently they have 14 regular volunteers working there. Right now they have many animals in care.

One of the animals they are taking care of is a black cat who was thrown into a bonfire by its owner. The cat was rescued by a homeless man.

It's important to keep the zoo animals healthy. Most big zoos have a full-time staff of animal health professionals, which includes veterinarians and animal health technicians. These people examine the animals and treat any health problems that arise.

Zoos provide education for many ranges of age. Children really benefit from visiting the zoo. They are given an opportunity to learn about nature, the environment and the animal kingdom. Kids learn to develop an appreciation for all those things.

Many North American zoos offer summer day camps for children. For adults, many zoos have an education department that conducts group programs. Some people say, "visiting the zoo helps people to understand and respect the wildlife."

Researchers have shown that on estimate more people in North America go to zoos than all the professional baseball, football and basketball games combined.

As you can see, lots of Americans enjoy visiting the zoo. Why would you want to take that away from them.

People visit zoos to see many of the animals. Without animals we wouldn't have zoos.

Many animals around the world are becoming extinct, or are on the endangered species list. One way we could help solve this problem is keeping endangered animals in the zoo. This will assure a safe environment for the animals, and will provide a healthy diet and veterinary care.

Animals and plants can become endangered because of the chemicals people use. Animals in zoos would be safer because they wouldn't have to worry about the harmful chemicals people use. Studies show that there are about 400 animals in the United States and 130 that are threatened. The International Union shared that currently there are about 5,926 species that are classified as threatened or endangered. Of all these species, only 120 are involved in international zoo breeding programs. On estimate, about 27,000 species become extinct each year, about three an hour. A few animals on the endangered species list include the following: tiger, polar bear, Pacific walrus, Magellanic penguin and the leatherback turtle.

The list continues with many more animals. One solution to help save these animals is take them into care. By doing so we should put these animals in zoos to ensure safety.

This is why I feel zoos are important and should be allowed. Zoos are something that many people enjoy visiting. They provide safety for animals, education to the people and help endangered species. Zoos have many positives to them. For those people who read this and may feel this doesn't concern them or they never visit the zoo: think about if you have any pets. You may not like them, but think about if you have kids and how important they are to them. Or if you don't have pets or kids, you may go hunting. If soon some of those animals become extinct or endangered, you wouldn't be able to hunt. I think keeping animals in zoos can help solve many problems around the world.

Katie Kalinowski,