In three pages this paper examines the differences between studying animals in their natural habitat and in captivity in this overview of what can be learned during a zoo trip by studying non human primates. Two sources are cited in the bibliography.
Name of Research Paper File: RT13_SA104Zoo.doc
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which are of greatest intrigue. While all animals are interesting to study, and people and scientists even make an intense study of plant and insect life, the study of primates
is rather unique. Part of the reasons is because certain primates are closely linked to man and it is known for example that at least 98% (Gibbons, 1998, p. PG)
of human DNA is exactly like that of chimpanzees. For the most part, these animals are at least studied by the general populous in a captive environment. Because the
society is not set up to accommodate free range wildlife in a general sense, in order to display animals for education and pleasure, zoos accommodate the desires of the humans.
But are the animals there for purely selfish reasons or is it imperative that man make a study of wildlife? However, another question comes up. Are captive studies relevant or
should primates be studied in free-range environments? How might the information obtained from captive versus free-range studies of the same species vary? Obviously, there will be some differences in each
environment as well as similarities. The television series Big Brother may be considered a show that studied human primates in a captive environment. Although technically the players could get out
of their environment, they agreed to stay. And while they lived, as they might outside of the much watched house, there were certainly differences. They knew they were being watched.
They were fed and virtually cared for by unknown staff members. They had great limitations on their freedom and privacy. One can assume that mating, eating and playing behavior might
be somewhat different on the outside. Similarly, the non-human primates in the zoo might not be as forthcoming--though of course this is not conscious--as they would in their natural habitat.