1. Read the passage carefully :
CAGED AND SAFE OR WILD AND FREE?
1. The funding crisis at many zoos has reopened the debate over the value of zoos and whether they should be allowed to exist at all. People who are in favour of zoos argue that they perform an essential role in conserving rare animal species. Conservationists estimate that today at least 1,000 species of animals are threatened. Over the past 20 years zoos have developed programmes designed to help preserve endangered species. This involves breeding animals in captivity – ―Captive breeding programmes‖- and then reintroducing them into their natural habitats to replenish the number living in the wild.
2. Woburn Abbey, for example, saved a species called Pere David’s deer. The species went largely unrecorded in China from 1920, but a few of the animals were brought to Europe by a French missionary (Father David). Recently Woburn Abbey and other zoos began returning breeding couples of Pere David’s deer to the wild in China. Zoos cooperate with each other in order to ensure the success of their breeding programmes. Animals are passed from one zoo to another in order to prevent inbreeding – breeding from closely related animals. If animals that are closely related to one another mate, there is a danger that they will produce deformed offspring.
3. Supporters of zoos argue that they have an important role in educating children, millions of whom visit zoos every year. Television viewing is no substitute for encountering real animals, they argue. Zoos also carry out important research, for example on the best conditions for rare species to reproduce. If zoos were forced to close it would be disastrous for world conservation, zoo supporters say. And most animals in captivity would have to be killed. ―It does not take much imagination to
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