The sight of the child’s undeniable excitement in the above video, uploaded by feel-good YouTube channel Poke My Heart, has led to it being widely shared and promoted as “cute” and “adorable.”

The baby gorilla, confined to his small enclosure for most of the day and unable to exercise his natural instincts, was probably glad to have some playtime to distract him for a while. However, the truth is that gorillas should not be put on display for human entertainment at all – meaning that there is an underlying sadness behind this video that no amount of “cuteness” can disguise.

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Many people believe that bringing kids to zoos or other captive facilities is a great way to educate them about the natural lives of animals. But the truth is that putting animals on display teaches kids that they are there to entertain humans and be put to use for our benefit, rather than having any individual rights of their own. A research paper published in the Conservation Biology journal found that 62 percent of kids who had just visited a captive animal facility learned nothing about animal or environmental conservation while there. Worse still, the study found that visiting such a facility can produce a “negative learning outcome.” leaving children feeling less empowered to help animals than before.

To find out how you can help empower kids to care about animal rights and conservation, without bringing them to view captive animals, check out some of these informative articles:



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