Personally, I think there are some grains of truth in both statements and I must admit I don't fully agree with either of them.
Some people are strongly against zoos. They say that zoos are an unsuitable environment for wild animals and should, therefore, be abolished. Without doubt, zoo animals are kept in a very confined area compared with their vast natural habitat.
Polar bears, for example, are given about 10 -15 meters of walking space whereas in their Arctic home they roam for many hundreds of kilometers. Besides , many animals develop unnatural habits such as pacing back and forth or swaying from side to side.
Zoo life also does not prepare animals for challenges of life in the wild. For example, two rare lynxes released into the wild in Colorado died from starvation even though the area was full of hares, which are a lynx’s natural prey.
Animals often fall ill at the zoo and most of them are not capable of breeding.
Regarding the second statement, I'm not going to say that animals should be kept in zoos. I love zoos and I enjoy looking at all of the awesome animals that are there. So do many other people in the world. Zoos also have educational nature. For instance, children will have an opportunity of seeing animals alive, not only in the pictures of the books. As we know visual learning is more fruitful. Some animals are permitted to touch them or even play with and it also has a therapeutic effect. For example, swimming with dolphins or riding horses. Another example is Moscow zoo where children can even feed some domestic animals such as hens, rabbits, dogs and cats and certainly this activity develops their consideration of people around them.
In conclusion, I want to underline that there are advantages and disadvantages of having zoos. I think it is cruel to take animals from their habitat and change the way of their live dramatically. On the other hand we must take into consideration that today many animals are bred in captivity and letting them in the wild would mean death for them.