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Many People Think that Zoos Are Cruel. Others Think They Are Protecting Rare Animals - Task 2 Essay

Updated: Mar 19

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


Many people think that zoos are cruel. Others think they are helpful in protecting rare animals.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.


You should write at least 250 words.


IELTS Task 2 Essay Band 9 Sample - Many people think that zoos are cruel. Others think they are helpful in protecting rare animals. Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

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Model Essay 1

The debate surrounding zoos oscillates between perceptions of cruelty and conservation. While some view zoos as restrictive environments that hinder animal freedom, others herald them as sanctuaries for endangered species. This essay posits that while ethical concerns regarding animal welfare in zoos are valid, the role of zoos in conservation and education outweighs the negatives.


Critics of zoos argue that confining animals to limited spaces for public display is inherently cruel, stripping them of their natural habitats and behaviors. Instances of inadequate living conditions and psychological stress in animals are frequently cited, underscoring the moral dilemmas associated with zoological parks. The essence of their argument hinges on the belief that no educational or conservation effort can justify the deprivation of liberty and natural existence experienced by zoo inhabitants. These viewpoints highlight a fundamental question about the ethical treatment of animals and the human right to use them for educational and recreational purposes.


Conversely, proponents of zoos present a compelling narrative centered on conservation and education. Many species, now thriving, owe their survival to the protective embrace of zoos, where breeding programs and habitat preservation efforts have shielded them from the brink of extinction. Zoos serve as living libraries, offering invaluable learning opportunities that foster a deeper connection with and understanding of wildlife. Through hands-on education and awareness campaigns, they engender a sense of responsibility towards environmental stewardship among the public. Furthermore, zoos often channel funds and resources towards wild conservation projects, amplifying their role in safeguarding global biodiversity.


In summary, despite the importance of enhancing zoo conditions, their role in conservation and education justifies their existence. Ethically managed, zoos are vital in preserving biodiversity and fostering a connection between humans and the natural world, emphasizing the significance of conservation and coexistence.


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Model Essay 2

The contentious issue of zoos straddles ethical debates and conservation successes. On one hand, they are criticized for confining wild animals; on the other, they are lauded for safeguarding species from extinction. This essay will argue that, despite their flaws, zoos play a crucial role in wildlife preservation and education, offering a net benefit to society.


Opponents of zoos denounce them as prisons for animals, arguing that captivity deprives these creatures of their natural habitats and behaviors, leading to both physical and psychological distress. The case of Marius, a healthy young giraffe euthanized in a Copenhagen zoo due to surplus, starkly exemplifies the ethical quagmire zoos can represent. Critics assert that such environments cannot replicate the complex ecosystems animals inhabit in the wild, resulting in a diminished quality of life and a profound ethical dilemma concerning the rights and welfare of animals. They further argue that the psychological damage inflicted on captive animals, manifesting in stereotypic behaviors such as pacing and overgrooming, underscores the moral cost of these institutions.


Conversely, the contribution of zoos to conservation is undeniable and profound. The California Condor's revival from near extinction, primarily through zoo-based breeding programs, underscores the potential for zoos to reverse the dire fates of species teetering on the brink. Beyond conservation, zoos play a pivotal role in environmental education, providing millions of visitors annually with firsthand wildlife encounters that foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of nature's intricacies. This dual mission of education and conservation creates a strong foundation for future environmental stewardship, inspiring a new generation to commit to preserving our natural world. By acting as bridges between humans and nature, zoos have the unique opportunity to promote conservation messages and encourage public engagement with wildlife protection efforts.


In concluding, while the debate on zoos is complex, their value in conservation and education outweighs the criticisms. With ongoing improvements in animal welfare and habitat simulation, zoos serve as essential ark for endangered species, educating the public and cultivating a culture of conservation.


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Model Essay 3

The debate over the effectiveness and morality of zoos in protecting and conserving rare animals has been a contentious topic for many years. This essay will examine both sides of the debate before arguing that the practice of removing animals from their natural habitats and subjecting them to inadequate care and support in zoos is, in fact, inhumane.


Advocates of zoos argue that the alarming rise in the number of critically endangered species, such as elephants and rhinos slaughtered for commercial purposes, highlights the need for environmentalists and wildlife conservationists to support the establishment of zoological gardens. These facilities often have access to advanced veterinary care and employ trained professionals who can provide medical care and rehabilitation for sick or injured animals. For rare species, where each animal's existence is crucial to the species' overall survival, this can be particularly important. For example, statistics reveal that only a few Bengal tigers and African pangolins remain in wildlife parks due to heavy poaching in their natural habitats.


However, critics of menageries argue that capturing and transporting animals from their natural habitats to zoos is inherently cruel. They contend that many animals have intricate social structures and rely on their families and communities for survival. The process of capturing and removing them from the wild can cause immense stress and trauma, both for the individual animal and for their social group as a whole. This can lead to a range of negative consequences, such as disrupted social hierarchies, increased aggression, and decreased reproduction rates. Moreover, transporting animals to enclosures typically involves placing them in entirely unfamiliar environments with different climates, landscapes, and food sources, causing further stress and disorientation as they try to adapt to a new way of life.


In conclusion, while some argue that zoos can play an important role in protecting endangered species, the complex social structures of many animals, combined with the trauma of capture and transport, can have significant negative effects on their wellbeing.



Model Essay 4

In contemporary times, there has been an upsurge in the popularity of wildlife parks and zoos, which has led to a polarized debate regarding the morality of capturing species in such enclosures. While some argue that it is an effective approach to safeguard endangered creatures, others believe it to be inhumane. This essay seeks to explore both sides of the debate before outlining why I believe that the cruel and traumatic experiences that zoo animals endure, resulting from the facilities' failure to provide basic standards of care, is significant and amounts to animal cruelty.


Those in favour of zoos' existence argue that the alarming growth of critically endangered animals such as elephants and rhinos, which are slaughtered for commercial value, requires the support of wildlife conservationists and environmentalists in establishing zoos or national parks. For centuries, these menageries have provided a safe haven for rare species, saving hundreds of thousands of obscure animals from wildlife crimes. For instance, statistics indicate that only a few Bengal tigers and African pangolins remain in wildlife parks due to rampant poaching in their natural habitats.


On the other hand, critics of zoos aiding conservation argue that these premises have failed to meet all the unique environmental, nutritional, climate, and social needs of the creatures they hold captive. The facilities' limited financial resources, which often depend on revenue generated from visitors and stakeholders, may hamper the distribution of funds for animal care and nutrition. Consequently, the animals suffer from malnourishment, hypothermia, lack of veterinary care, and outright neglect. According to a research study conducted in Vietnam, more than half of Vietnamese zoos did not meet the minimum animal welfare standards.


In conclusion, despite the argument that zoos assist in wildlife preservation by providing a secure living environment, I maintain that the traumatizing experience of kidnapped and captive species in an inadequate living standard is more devastating. It is, therefore, essential for authorities to propose policies and enforce laws to eliminate inhumane actions towards animals and ensure that zoos meet the minimum standards of care required to guarantee the animals' well-being.


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