Read the following two texts about zoos.
Text 1: We are more than animals!
How inhumane it is that, over a decade into the 21st century, we still keep wild animals in cages to gawp at for our own amusement? Yes, there may be laws about how much space each animal is allowed; there may even be moves to ‘stimulate’ the animals, providing toys and items to keep them amused. But do they ever get the chance to run as they were designed to do? To hunt? To eat a variety of foods, as they would do in the wild? Do they get the chance to choose their own mate? To climb trees? To fly?
As humans, we are more than animals: we have the capacity to think things through, to reason, to show compassion and kindness. This is why we have a responsibility to close zoos and only house wild animals out of their natural habitat in large safari parks. If we cannot provide this environment, then they need to be left in the wild, undisturbed, so they can thrive without human interference.
Text 2: Our job is to care.
As zoo keepers, our job is to care for the animals under our protection. We are highly skilled and trained in catering to their individual needs and requirements and we take our responsibilities very seriously. Many of the animals in zoos are not safe when left in the wild. They are constantly at risk from poachers, climate change has left their habitats in ruins and the rising human population means that they regularly ‘fall out’ with their human neighbours. After all, would you like a giant anaconda or a pride of hungry lions living in your back garden?
For all of these reasons, we have an obligation to take some animals into our care, look after them, provide them with a chance to mate and keep their species alive and educate other people about why it is important to look after our planet and the creatures who live here. If we don’t carry out this vital work, we will lose some animal species - forever.
Now answer the following questions.
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