880 Zoos


Jake and Lindsay share their feelings about animals being used in zoos and the circus.

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Jake: Hey, Lindsay, would you like to go with me to the zoo this Saturday?

Lindsay: The zoo.

Jake: Yeah, it's gonna be lot's of fun. We're going to see lions and tigers and bears.

Lindsay: Oh, my? Actually, I don't really like the zoo.

Jake: Why not. I thought everyone liked the zoo.

Lindsay: I don't think it's natural for the animals to be in a cage.

Jake: Yeah, I can see your point but on the other hand, zoos often rescue the animals in the wild that couldn't survive on their own, and I hear that zoos often take very good care of the animals and they have an even longer life expectancy than they would have in the wild.

Lindsay: Yeah, I agree with you. I think the animals do live longer in the zoo, but my problem is more the fact that it's just not natural. For example, I once saw a polar bear in California. A polar bear should not be in a warm climate. It should be in a cold climate where there's snow.

Jake: OK, you got me there.

Lindsay: Yes, I think I did. But I understand your point that zoos could be good, especially for the animals and the fact that they rescue the animals. I mean, that's nice. But, I think that you know, animals should die in the wild.

Jake: Well, I think it's better that they're alive so that people can enjoy them.

Lindsay: So you think the purpose of animals is for them to be enjoyed?

Jake: No, no, but it's really interesting for us to be able to learn about the animals and see them in person instead of just on TV.

Lindsay: I guess I agree with you, but I don't know, I don't really think the purpose of the animals are for our pleasure. I think animals should be out in the wild living freely.

Jake: OK, are you opposed to circuses too?

Lindsay: Oh, absolutely. I think they're very cruel to animals. Animals should not be there performing and living in close quarters and not being able to move around freely.

Jake: Well, I can see your point but I still think zoos and circuses are a lot of fun and I like to go to them a lot.

Lindsay: OK, I guess we'll just have to disagree a lot of this one. Have fun at the zoo Jake.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

life expectancy

They have a longer life expectancy than in the wild.

We use the term 'life expectancy' to talk about how long people usually live.  Notice the following:

  1. The Japanese have a longer life expectancy than Americans.
  2. Life expectancy has nearly doubled since the 19th century.

you got me there

OK, you got me there.

When someone disagrees with us and gives a good reason, we sometimes say 'you got me there'.  Notice the following:

  1. You got me there. I was wrong.
  2. Good point. You got me there.

see them in person

It's interesting to see them in person.

When we see someone 'in person,' that means we see them for real, not on TV or in a movie.  Notice the following:

  1. My dad's a big Eagles fan, but he's never seen them in person.
  2. He'd love to see them in person.

cruel to animals

I think they're very cruel to animals.

To be 'cruel' means to be or unkind or to cause pain for no good reason.  Notice the following:

  1. Some people think zoos are cruel to animals.
  2. I could never be cruel to animals.

close quarters

Animals should not be living in close quarters.

We use the phrase 'close quarters' to talk about living or working in a very small place with other people.  Notice the following:

  1. Soldiers often live and work in close quarters.
  2. Dorm life means living in close quarters.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
expectancy • got him • in person
cruel • quarters
  1. My family is large and we lived in an apartment, so I'm used to close .
  2. I think hitting your dog is and unnecessary.
  3. I think you on that one.  How did he respond?
  4. What is the life of a parrot?
  5. I am so excited to finally see you . It has been years.