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Most zoos in America have a very dark side that is hidden from the public when it comes to their surplus animals.


Animal breeding in zoos is cited as conservation under The Species Survival Plans (SSP). These breeding programs result in a surplus of unwanted animals; all in the name of endangered species preservation.


An animal is deemed “surplus” when a zoo runs out of room or resources for it, or when the animal is thought to no longer be profitable.


Baby animals are a huge draw, and generate a lot of revenue for zoos. When these animals grow into adults they are no longer considered profitable.


Zoos would like the public to think that these surplus animals are traded only among accredited zoos, but this is far from the truth.



Surplus Animals

Zoo ethics, are zoos good or bad, circus animal abuse, hunting ranches, animal captivity

Accredited zoos in America have handed surplus animals over to circuses, unregulated roadside zoos, private breeders, exotic animal dealers, private pet owners, taxidermists, laboratories for scientific research, and hunting ranches.  


The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) claims to hold accredited zoos to a strict code of ethics, only allowing the transfer of animals to other accredited zoos or to non accredited zoos that have provided exemplary care for their animals.


The AZA has a policy that prohibits accredited zoos from sending animals to hunting ranches or auctions.


According to an investigation by the San Jose Mercury News, (between 1992 and 1998) 30% of animals that were moved from accredited zoos ended up in the hands of roadside zoos, private dealers, and hunting ranches.


More recent investigations have found similar statistics. 

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