Wild Animals in Captivity by Rob Laidlaw

Wild Animals in Captivity by Rob Laidlaw 150 150 Reader Views Kids

Wild Animals in Captivity
Rob Laidlaw
Fitzhenry & Whiteside (2008)
ISBN 9781554550258
Reviewed by Sara McGinn (age 9) for Reader Views (11/08)


Rob Laidlaw’s “Wild Animals in Captivity” describes his experience going to zoos all around the world to investigate the conditions of how the animals are held in captivity.   The author talks about the problems that captive animals face.  Small cages, not having room to roam, and boredom are some examples.  Mr. Laidlaw also talks about captive animals not being able to choose how to spend their lives.   The zookeepers decide how deep the animals can swim, how high they can fly or if they can fly at all, and how far they can walk. He discusses natural behaviors and unnatural behaviors such as pacing, swimming in circles, climbing in loops, and sleeping the days away.  He also lists “Five Freedoms” he says are important for all captive animals to have.

This book made me sad because of how some zoos are treating the animals by only offering small cages for them to live in.   But I did enjoy the stories that had happy endings!  The author also did a wonderful job teaching kids about animals living in captivity and was very successful in making this book educational!  He also lists ten ways readers can help animals in captivity.

My favorite part of this book is when the author said that some zoos are putting toys and furniture to make the animals’ lives more interesting.  I learned a lot more about animals in captivity and thought the “Five Freedoms” were important to know.   I also enjoyed reading about different animals like polar bears, elephants, orcas, and gorillas.  It was also neat to read about different kinds of zoos like public zoos, wild animal parks, aquariums, marine parks, and roadside zoos.

Rob Laidlaw’s “Wild Animals in Captivity” is written for kids and that is definitely right!  I would recommend it to others who care about animals like I do.

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