There are several reasons for captive animal deaths. Zoo animals are typically killed for two reasons: to control the population and manage “surplus animals,” or to maintain genetic strength and diversity within a captive breeding program. Chronic stress can also arise as a result of restricted movement, contact with humans and many other factors. This condition reveals itself through high concentrations of stress hormones in an animal's blood. Chronic stress weakens the immune system, leading to higher disease rates in many animals. Another sign of stress is decline in reproduction, which explains why it’s often difficult to get animals to breed in captivity.
Lists of captive animal deaths by year
- Number of animals killed in zoos
- List of deceased captive elephants
- List of deceased captive orcas
- Lists of captive animals