For some, a trip to the zoo sounds like an enjoyable activity with friends and family. But any true animal lover knows the reality behind zoos. Zoos are anything but fun for animals. Many of the animals that end up in these facilities were born in the wild and captured at a young age, while others were born into a captive life. In either case, these animals maintain their natural instincts and behaviors, both of which are stunted by life in a cage. As a result of being deprived of these natural behaviors, it is common for animals held captive to display unnatural stereotypic behaviors.

Conservation photojournalist Paul Hilton recently shared a heartbreaking photo of a sun bear held captive at a zoo on his Instagram page. “I took this haunting image a few years ago and to this day I hope the fate of this bear changed.” Paul notes in the photo caption.

This bear’s misery is not worth a trip to the zoo. No matter how brightly a wall is painted, or how large a cage is, a zoo environment cannot compare to an animal’s wild habitat. 



One of the most commonly used justifications for zoos is the idea that people will only care about animals if they see them in person. While getting to interact with a majestic wild animal is undoubtedly a life changing experience, is seeing an animal in a cafe really the same as seeing one of their wild counterparts? Zoos only further perpetuate the idea that these animals are ours to view and observe. The bottom line is that one thing and one thing alone matters for zoos, and any other attraction that involves wild animals: profit.

With the news of Ringling Brother’s Circus is closing their doors for good and the powerful splash the documentary “Blackfish” has made, it’s clear that people no longer want to see animals held captive. Please share this post with your friends and family to help raise awareness about the truth behind zoos.

Image Source: Paul Hilton/Instagram