Three fuzzy lion cubs roll around in the high grass. They playfully paw at each other while their mother rests in the shade nearby. The area might be mistaken for the plains of Africa. Well, except for the giggling children waving at the animals through a glass wall while their parents snap photos. You guessed it—these lions are in a zoo.
For decades, zoo animals were often kept in tiny cages with concrete floors. But in recent years, many zoos have spent millions of dollars to build bigger, more open enclosures that resemble the animals’ natural habitats.
Despite these improvements, critics of zoos say there’s nothing natural about keeping animals locked up for our entertainment. They argue that the animals belong in the wild.
Here are two views about zoos.