Captivity is a term used to designate when animals are held in cages or pools for public displays. Zoos, aquariums and dolphinariums are present all around the world and attract people and families who seize this opportunity to see different kinds of animals that do not belong to their country. As such, these places have an educational role. Most of the times, you can take a guided tour through the zoo and learn about the animals that you are seeing. Dolphin trainers explain the biological and ecological characteristics of dolphins to the public during the show. I think these places are important for children who can develop a love for animals and learn to respect them.
But is it right for the animals to be kept in captivity for our own gains? A small part of the animals that are displayed are actually born in activity. Most of them are captured from the wild. This is going to cause great stress to the animals that may develop stereotyped behaviors, such as mechanical repetitions of an unnatural behavior that the animals wouldn’t show in the wild. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter how large the cage or deep the pool is, they will always be very small compared to the natural range the animal could occupy in the wild.
At the same time, I think it is very difficult to release captive animals back into the wild because they are not capable to hunt anymore. And those animals that usually live in groups should learn again how to be social in the right way.
I believe that zoos or aquariums shouldn’t be allowed to take any more animals from the wild and they should restrict to breed the ones they already have. Nowadays there are a lot of ways that allow people to see animals in the wild, such as safaris in Africa, scuba-diving on barrier-reefs, and whale and dolphin-watching trips are being organized in hundreds of different places all around the world. I think people would learn best of animal natural behavior and habitat if they could observe them in the wild where they belong.