Many breeders say they’re stewards of conservation, but no captive tiger has ever been released into the wild.
AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
There are more captive tigers in the US than there are in the wild around the world – and they can be bought for less than some breeds of dog puppies.
Lion bones masquerade as tiger bones in China.
South Africa has the biggest captive big cat industry in the world and it is largely unregulated.
Rosa in the Sumatran Rhino (
Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) Sanctuary, Way Kambas, Sumatra, Indonesia.
Willem v Strien/Wikipedia
The world mourns the loss of Malaysia's last male Sumatran rhino. Can anything stop the slide of the species towards extinction?
Once cubs in captivity get too big to be stroked and cuddled by tourists, they’re sold into the canned hunting and Asian bone trade industries.
While the international conservation community unites against the captive breeding of big cats in South Africa, the government stalls.
Handout Czech Customs Authority
The slaughtered tigers were not bred in zoos, yet their story should put captive breeding in general into question.
If we want any future for wild populations of the numerous species traded for pets, exhibits and use in medicines, drastic action is needed to control their international and domestic trade.
Devils released back onto the Tasmanian mainland in the next step to fight the deadly DFTD disease.
Wildlife Management Branch, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
Some animals bred in captivity often lack the skills needed to survive in the wild. But the Tasmanian devil is showing it's a natural born killer.
The program can work well for polygamous species such as gorillas.
Mary Ann McDonald/shutterstock.com
Computer dating for animals? Finding the right matchup - using DNA rather than personality questionnaires - could help select the best partnerships for captive breeding programs.
Pandas breed in the wild after fighting off competition from other males – something they're denied in captivity.
Zoos provide succor for species having a tough time of it in the wild.
B. A. Minteer
Today, many zoos promote the protection of biodiversity as a significant part of their mission. As conservation “arks” for endangered species and, increasingly, as leaders in field conservation projects…