Some animals are so unhappy that they risk their lives in desperate attempts to free themselves. At the Dallas Zoo, a gorilla named Jabari tried to escape by jumping over the walls and moats of his enclosure, only to be fatally shot by police. A witness later confessed that teenagers were taunting him by throwing rocks. Just this past year at the Copenhagen Zoo, a healthy giraffe was killed and just weeks later, the same zoo killed four lions.
Animals are unable to thrive in small enclosures, especially with unnatural weather and climates. For example, elephants typically walk up to 30 miles in just one day, but Lucy, the lone elephant at the Edmonton Zoo, is locked inside a barn when the zoo is closed and during Edmonton's frigid winter months, which means she spends most of her time indoors, without much room to move. The near-constant confinement because of the harsh weather has caused Lucy to develop painful arthritis.
In reality, most people only spend a few seconds at each display, waiting for the animals to do something "exciting," but they gain little, if any, true understanding of the animals. In addition, captive animals don't get to choose their mates, and they are sometimes artificially inseminated so that their babies can be sold or traded to other zoos. This often results in miscarriages, death at birth, or the mother's rejection of her young. The Chinese government "rents" pandas to zoos worldwide for fees of more than $1 million per year!