Hunting, capturing, and selling wild animals has always been part of the long list of things humans do that harm the ecosystem overtime. However, a new and growing movement that involves capturing animals for the purposes of research and conservation is being set up that redefines our original understanding of ‘let them go free’.
Today, many ecologists, naturalists and wildlife conservationists now agree that in some cases it is better to actually house wild animals in zoos or specialised sanctuaries than to actually let them go free in the wild – all for a very good reason. Experts have observed that animals, especially endangered ones, or ones that are critically threatened, have a higher rate of survival and chances for propagation if they are kept in a controlled environment where they are guaranteed to be safe from accidental death due to natural causes, or by poaching.
Capturing animals for the purpose of research, conversation, and eventual propagation may not exactly be the ‘natural’ route, but it does offer the following advantages:
• A safe sanctuary – unlike animals that are released into the wild and simply monitored through trackers or any similar mediums, animals found in reserves and conservation centres don’t run the risk of being harmed or killed by other animals, or, even worse, by poachers on the prowl.
• Healthcare – animals in the wild fall ill on a regular basis, and oftentimes they may even die of illness. This is often unavoidable, but perfectly natural in the wild. In reserves and conservation centres however, animals are given high-quality healthcare, so that even critically ill animals are able to recover and live out their lives for longer than they normally would be able to in the wild.
• Constant supply of food – in the wild, animals go for long periods of time with minimal to almost no food. This affects their health, causes stress, and may even result in death by starvation or malnutrition. Thankfully, reserves and conservation agencies supply the animals in their care with all the right foods that they need to live long and healthy lives, often with a specially tailored diet designed by veterinary experts to guarantee optimal nutrition.
Sometimes, in today’s ever changing world, in places where the habitat of animals are being over developed, captivity promises more perks than freedom, but only if the overall health, wellness, and happiness of the animals are top-priority.