My Trip to the Smithsonian National Zoo

Today I visited the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. with my roommate. While I love seeing animals I normally would not see in America, I cannot help but feel sorry for the caged animals. They are so far from their natural habitat in a cage (or fenced in area). While I was at the zoo, we saw many animals- tigers, lions, gorillas, pandas, etc. There were so many different animals, but they all had one thing in common: they were out of their element- they knew it and so did we.

The tiger roared multiple times while we were visiting him. His roar sounded pained.


A clouded leopard paced back and forth in his cage as we looked down at him. He looked so lost, confused and bored.

Now, I must admit the zoo is not all bad. It extends the life of the animals. For instance, on the information for the lions in front of their area, it said that lions in the wild live until 12 years old. At the zoo, they can live until 20 years old.


Zoos have their ups and downs. Overall, I cannot say I enjoy them. Yes, I like being able to see all sorts of animals in one place. But I do not like the fact these animals are taken out of their natural habitat to sit in a caged area or behind glass.



Red Panda


Praire Dog




About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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