Zoos Are Important For Wildlife And Photography

I love zoos. We have had going to zoos as a tradition for us for a long time. I hadn’t been to a zoo in a while until recently. But, zoos were instrumental in shaping my love for animals and in developing and shaping my love and skills in photography.

There can be some controversy surrounding zoos and the lives animals have there. They can be very important things that we should all think hard about. But, I am not going to hash out those arguments here.

I will tell you my feeling about zoos, however. If protecting wildlife and their environment is important to you I believe that zoos play a critical role in making this a reality. People do not see it worthy to protect things that they do not love. People will not love things they do not know about. How do people learn about wildlife they never knew existed and their habitats? The zoo is a big part of this.


People will come to love animals they can have a genuine experience with. There are not many places where animals are well cared for and people can have genuine in person experiences with the animals while having an opportunity to learn about them. Seeing children and their parents falling in love with animals is awesome. Those children who fell in love with the animals at the zoo will be the ones that grow up and want to protect the animals.

Zoos helped shape me

I am living proof of this. I have always loved animals. Mostly from afar. Then I began visiting zoos and photographing the animals there. This helped me create a stronger bond and love for animals. My love for animals became a driving force in my life.

Ring-Tailed Lemurs.

I began to shape my life around my love for animals. I started eating less meat. Then I became a vegetarian. Eventually I began eating an entirely plant based diet. If you want to make the biggest difference in the lives of animals This is how you can do it. Animal agriculture is one of the biggest threats to wildlife and their habitat. If you have a problem with zoos but you are still eating meat may I politely suggest that you refocus your priorities on the things that will help the most animals and that is not eating meat. Once you have made this shift then you can start the work of thinking about how the existence of zoos impact animals.

But in my mind until we have made a huge shift in animal agriculture, there is more benefit to having zoos in existence than there is to getting rid of them.

Short-Eared Elephant Shrew.

I love my zoo photos

Some of my favorite photographs, especially early on in my photography were from zoos. Zoos are great place to capture images of animals will that one would never be able to see in the wild. Would it be great to see those animals in the wild? Of course it would. But for many of us those opportunities are out of our means. Build your love of animals and develop your craft in photography by creating evocative images while photographing zoo animals.

Creating really good images at a zoo could often be even more challenging than it would be photographing those same animals in the wild. Given ne has the means to see these same animals in the wild, the surroundings in the wild will fit more with the subject. The environment will present so much nicer in the wild than in the zoo conditions.

Green Tree Python.

In the zoo to really get a great shot it often requires one to be able to get in for a close up of the animal. It is also often necessary to have just the right angle with just the right background to make sure you have a nice image without some strange feature making an appearance due to the fact that it is in a zoo. I am not saying one should try to pretend that their zoo shot photos are photographs taken in the wild, but you still want them to look their best. I always label my zoo photos as such to make sure no one is mistaking them as photographs I have taken in the wild. Simply put, don’t misrepresent your work.

If you want to develop your photography go visit a zoo and spend some time watching and learning about the animals there. It will help you create better photography in the future whether it be zoo animals or wild animals.

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