Bambi or Bessie: Are wild animals happier?

Elizadolots

New Member
Andrew Sullivan had a link to this on his blog and I thought people here might be interested in it. I suspect most of us grapple with the morality of keeping a "wild animal".

Bambi or Bessie: Are wild animals happier?

What we do know so far is that evidence suggests wild animals can be as happy in captivity as they are in nature, assuming they are treated well. Confinement alone doesn’t mean an animal is automatically worse off. If we give an animal all the good things they would have in the wild (food and water, fellow members of their species, a certain amount of space) and take away that stresses or hurts them (predators, parasites, extreme weather), then it can live just as happily in an enclosure. Zoo animals with proper care and enrichment, for example, have similar hormone profiles, live longer, eat better, and are healthier than their wild counterparts. Why? Because life in the wild is hard. In captivity, it’s easy.
Of course, for chameleons, "fellow members of their species" would come under "stressful things".
 

Stanly

New Member
I don't think we can ever replace the "freedom" aspect of the wild, however I do agree keeping animals in captivity is not inherently wrong, provided you can give them what they need.
 
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