Captivity Won’t Solve Extinction

The Lucidum Eye

People often ask why sanctuaries for endangered animals do not breed them, either for later release back into the wild or to keep them in sanctuaries or zoos so that they will not become extinct. Since these animals are so critically endangered or heading there fast, why can’t we just take the ones we have and breed them so that we can perpetuate their genetics and keep them in cages or let them go? These people mean well. Their desire to preserve wild animals, stop extinction, and re-populate their dwindling numbers is benevolent, although sorely misguided.

There are many problems with this way of thinking. People don’t realize that the ancestry of most of these individuals cannot be traced. Records are lacking for most of the animals that have been rescued by sanctuaries, so we have no idea what their genetics are, and most are probably of mixed origin. Breeding…

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