When we travel many of us want to experience the highlights of the city/country we are in and usually these lists will contain zoos, theme parks or aquariums. These places are marketed as a way to educate and conserve but how fair is it on the animals. Places like SeaWorld where you can see dolphins, sea lions and even orcas up close. We are given the impression that these animals are happy in captivity but documentaries such as Blackfish and The Cove suggest otherwise.
There is one place that I have visited that I feel maybe an exception to this, Australia Zoo. Steve Irwin started the zoo in order to educate people about animals, he brought them up close so people could see them. He rehomed animals that were in unsuitable conditions and works to preserve endangered species.
Unfortunately Steve Irwin died and the zoo was left in the hands of others. The core values still remain but as developmental plans are made they may be forgotten and we could see it turn into a more ‘American’ style theme park.