Six months after a three-week old tiger drowned at the London zoo, three more tigers were born there. PETA has capitalized on the attention brought by the drowning and the births to call for a boycott of the zoo, which they describe as a “prison with living exhibits.” The zoo director, David Field, defends captivity, saying “The wild is just simply not an option for many species now, with habitats being destroyed and illegal wildlife trade soaring at unprecedented rates. Conservation breeding programmes are the only way to ensure a future for these animals.”
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By saying that the “wild is not an option,” the London Zoo director is suggesting that captivity is the only option for some animals. That message only reinforces the point of view that animals in zoos are money-making exhibits, not ambassadors who unwillingly sacrifice their freedom to help to conserve members of their species who live freely in their natural habitats. If we believe in wildlife conservation, then we should be supporting the work of groups like Sea Shepherd that are protecting animals and their habitats. To find out how you can help protect wild animals, please see this list of 10 other wildlife conservation groups.