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Zoo officials say that they are concerned about animals. However, most zoos remain "collections" of interesting "items" rather than protective habitats. Zoos teach people that it is acceptable to keep animals in captivity. However, animals in zoos are bored, limited, lonely, and far
from their natural homes.
Zoos claim to educate people, but in fact, visitors don't learn anything meaningful about the natural behavior, intelligence, or beauty of animals. Most zoo areas are quite small, and visitors can rarely observe animals' normal behavior in these unnatural spaces. Nor can they learn much from
the labels on cages, which list only the species' name, diet, and where it normally lives.
The animals are kept together in small spaces, with no privacy and little opportunity for mental stimulation or physical exercise. This results in abnormal and self-destructive behavior called zoochosis. In a worldwide study of zoos, the Born Free Foundation found that zoochosis is common
among animals in small spaces or cages. Another study found that elephants spend 22 percent of their time engaging in abnormal behaviors, such as repeated head movements or biting cage bars. Bears spend 30 percent of their time walking back and forth. These are all signs of distress.
Zoos also claim to save animals from extinction. However, zoos that breed endangered animals, such as big cats and Asian elephants, often do not release them to the wild. Zoos talk a lot about their breeding programs. One reason is to ease people's worry about endangered species. The other
reason is to attract a lot of customers who enjoy seeing baby animals. How many contests have we seen to name baby animals?
Ultimately we will save endangered species only if we save their habitats. We also need to stop people from killing them. Instead of supporting zoos, we should support groups that work to protect animals and preserve their homes in the wild.
The last paragraph of the passage includes a number of -----------.
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