Documentary Research – Zoochosis: The living conditions of animals in captivity

by rnb10

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Key Points in Documentary:

  • There are over 10,000 zoo’s worldwide.
  • 175 million people visit zoo’s each year.
  • In captivity animals may face a number of challenges which evolution has not prepared them for.
  • The artificial environment of a zoo can sometimes lead to an animal feeling bored, frustrated and stressed.
  • Animals may develop a stereotypic behaviour that becomes compulsive and unnatural.
  • Zoo’s originated from wild animals being captured and given to the rich as trophies, seen as something just to look at – no care for the animals wellbeing, a status symbol.
  • Stereotypic behaviour: Repetitive functionless behaviour – rocking, self harming, feather/fur plucking.
  • 2 theories behind stereotypic behaviour:
    – The animal trying to cope with adverse environmental conditions e.g. result of highly motivated behaviours that the animal can not perform in captivity. (catching prey)
    – Result from brain disfunction caused by stress. Correlation between stress at the time the behaviour is being performed and the behaviour itself is inconsequential.
  • Mythologist argue that stereotypic could of been developed from something that happened to the animal in its infancy. (before captivity)
  • They believe the stress is not effecting an animals welfare and stereotypic is a coping mechanism.

My thoughts:

This documentary takes you through the effects of captivity on animals in zoo’s. Zoochosis is a known mental disease found in animals kept captive, it shows signs of stereotypic behaviour which causes harm to the animals.

What I liked about this documentary is you get views from both sides of the argument, therefor it is not biased and gives the viewer an open outlook to make there own opinion on the subject. I found it very informative and helpful in understanding both sides of the argument.