Earlier this year, Schonbrunn Zoo celebrated its 250th birthday in Austria. The zoo was officially founded on July 31, 1752 by the order of the husband of Empress Maria Theresa. In ancient times, many kings and emperors had private zoos. Zoo-owners saw their captive animals as a symbol of their wealth and power. Nowadays, some zoos are built to protect endangered animals and to provide educational displays for humans. They focus on scientific education and the breeding of endangered species. The new concept of zoos has developed since World World II. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong, San Diego Zoo is one of the best gardens in the world. It houses wild animals whose natural habitats are dwindling. Its design provides the animals in captivity a natural mating environment so that they can, and are willing to, breed. However, not everyone agrees with the idea of keeping animals in a zoo, no matter how large it is. In Hong Kong, there is never a shortage of support for the proposed closure of the city's only zoo within the Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Central. Here are some arguments for and against zoos: For: - From a toddler's first glimpse of a monkey or sea lion, to a researcher's study, a zoo is a unique learning centre. - Zoos with a conservation mission teach people more about animals and their environments. - Zoos are not synonymous with cruelty to animals. It depends on how people operate them. Against: - We should focus more on how to preserve the natural habitat for animals. - With advanced technology, we can learn about animals through other interactive media. - Captive animals will lose their instinct and ability to survive in the wild.