Year 10 Philosophy Zoo Trip
On Wednesday 22nd November the Year 10 Philosophy class took a day trip to Auckland Zoo. The purpose of the trip was to apply ethical reasoning to decide whether or not it is morally acceptable to keep animals at Auckland Zoo. It was a great day – the sun was shining and the zoo was bustling with many groups from other schools as well. We started with a talk from a zoo educator about the history of the zoo and its current focuses on conservation and rehabilitation.
At over 100 years old, Auckland Zoo has come a long way from the days of elephant rides, “Chimpanzee Tea Parties” and polar bear enclosures! We then walked around the zoo, seeing the animals in their enclosures and evaluating what they were there for, whether their needs were being met, and whether it was ethical to keep each animal species at the zoo. Highlights included a live “flight school” show with birds and keepers; seeing the orangutans and gibbons in their fancy new enclosure; and watching Evan slipping over on a banana skin... multiple times… on purpose. And of course the ice creams and the playground with giant slide!
After visiting Auckland Zoo the class went away generally impressed with the efforts the zoo is making to care for the animals, accommodate their needs and contribute to conservation efforts for endangered species and animals harmed in the wild. Most students felt that the positive benefits outweighed the ethical downsides to keeping animals captive at the zoo, and so were in favour of supporting the zoo to continue moving in this direction.
Thanks to the teachers that came to support the trip, and the students for representing Rutherford positively with great behaviour on the day.
by Mr Maxwell