Few animals in zoos are actually endangered; the rest are showcased to the public for entertainment purposes. Gaston Lacombe’s “Captive” series aims to expose this.
While the intention behind starting zoos might have been honorable, they have become more similar to a car collection than an animal conservation effort.
As animal rights organization PETA has said, wildlife in captivity often “spend much of their time pacing, walking in tight circles, swaying or rolling their heads, and showing other signs of psychological distress.” Obviously, animals will always do best in the wild, roaming free in their natural setting, rather than living in poorly decorated and artificially lit living spaces.
Even the argument for conservation falls flat. Few animals in captivity are endangered, as Zoos prefer to showcase exotic species to wow the public. This is entertaining to humans, but not beneficial for the animals.
Similar to the case of orcas in SeaWorld, many animals in zoos do not live as long as if they were in the wild.
This is exactly what photographer Gaston Lacombe sought to convey when shooting his series entitled “Captive”. The pictures below expose the conditions many animals live in each day, detached from their natural origin.