Animals In Captivity

On October 3, 2003 Roy Horn, of Siegfried and Roy fame, was attacked and seriously injured by a tiger while performing on stage in Las Vegas. The tiger became startled, bit Roy and dragged him off stage. This attack, and others, have led some people to question whether wild animals should be forced to perform in the first place.

When Animals Attack

Roy Horn is only one of many people who have been attacked by captive wild animals. Since 1990, more than 500 people have been seriously injured or killed by captive wild animals. Here are a couple of examples:

  • In 1998, An 11 year-old boy slipped through the top of a brown bear's cage at a Russian zoo. The boy was badly mauled and died several hours later from loss of blood.
  • In 2002, a 150 pound tiger was taken to a California elementary school assembly as part of the Zoo to You program. The tiger lunged at a 6 year-old boy and grabbed him by the head. The boy was wrestled away from the tiger by the principal and taken to hospital where he received 55 stitches to his head and face.
  • In 2002, an elephant at the Pittsburgh Zoo pinned a zookeeper to the ground, and crushed him to death with its head.

The Case For Circus Animals

Some people think that wild animals should perform because it allows peeps to see wild animals that they wouldn't normally get to see. Supporters of animals in captivity say that it is educational to see wild animals up close. They also say it's just plain fun.


The Case Against Circus Animals

Some people think that it is dangerous and cruel to keep wild animals in captivity, especially when they are made to perform. These peeps think that the way the animals are trained, which often includes physical punishment and intimidation, is abusive and immoral.

So, What Do You Think? Share your opinion in the comments below


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Should Wild Animals Perform?

  • Yes. I love watching wild animals do tricks!
  • No. It's mean and dangerous to force wild animals to perform.
  • I don't know.

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