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Animal ethics, wildlife in captivity

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Keeping wildlife in captivity is a monumental responsibility. Zoos and private collections, refuges and safari parks must maintain a healthy population. Many are responsible for reintroducing species to their native habitats after the natural populations have been wiped out by disease or other phenomena.

The Milwaukee Zoo was one of the first to build open habitats for their animals. Many carry out genetic studies which help to ensure a healthy population. Zoos, through captive breeding programs, repopulate endangered species.

Safari parks are opening throughout the country. The closest one to Milwaukee is located in the Wisconsin Dells and there is another in Missouri. These parks allow the public to get close and personal with animals from around the world. Some have train tours others allow a drive through experience with acres of wild animal habitats.

Animal refuges are set up to heal injured animals and raise orphaned species. Once deemed fit they are reintroduced into the wild at the area where they were found. The Wisconsin Humane Society Department of Wildlife is one of the major organizations rehabilitating wild animals. They have a small staff with a larger volunteer staff caring for the feeding, administering medications, and cleaning cages.

Staffs of these programs have the responsibility to keep their animals clean and healthy.

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