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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on whether zoos are cruel and exploitive or helpful for rare animals from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Zoos and Rare Animals

Many people think that zoos are cruel. Others think they are helpful in protecting rare animals.

Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

Some concerned groups feel that zoos are cruelly exploitative while others argue they serve the vital function of protecting endangered animals. In my opinion, though zoos are inherently unnatural, their efforts are laudable overall.

Those activists who decry the existence of zoos often point out how animals live in the wild. A lion in the African Serengeti, one of the few remaining preserves for lions in their natural habitat, roams over miles of grassland, hunts for meals and competes with rival prides. This is how lions have lived for thousands of years and is the natural byproduct of a generational process of evolution. The same lion placed in a zoo paces a small cage, is tossed already dead meat to eat, and rarely has other lions to interact or mate with. The evidence for zoos as a cruel institution lies in the contrasting of a natural and unnatural lifestyle and turning proud beasts into scavengers.

Regardless, zoos are essential for the preservation and cultivation of endangered species. There are countless animals ranging from various big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, and other sub-species), to pandas, rhinoceros, gorillas, pangolins and many more that depend on zoos for protection and safe breeding grounds. These animals have been driven to the brink of extinction either by loss of habitat due to rampant development and climate change or hunted for their fur or alleged medicinal properties. Responsible zoos are tasked with breeding them in order to stabilise falling populations and then re-introducing them into the wild. Without these zoos, many species would likely already have gone extinct.

In conclusion, zoos are fundamentally artificial but also a net positive because of their conservation efforts. To ensure this remains the case, these refuges must be well-regulated and governments should enact complementary solutions such as anti-poaching laws.

Analysis

1. Some concerned groups feel that zoos are cruelly exploitative while others argue they serve the vital function of protecting endangered animals. 2. In my opinion, though zoos are inherently unnatural, their efforts are laudable overall.

  1. Paraphrase the topic for the essay.
  2. Give a clear opinion.

1. Those activists who decry the existence of zoos often point out how animals live in the wild. 2. A lion in the African Serengeti, one of the few remaining preserves for lions in their natural habitat, roams over miles of grassland, hunts for meals and competes with rival prides. 3. This is how lions have lived for thousands of years and is the natural byproduct of a generational process of evolution. 4. The same lion placed in a zoo paces a small cage, is tossed already dead meat to eat, and rarely has other lions to interact or mate with. 5. The evidence for zoos as a cruel institution lies in the contrasting of a natural and unnatural lifestyle and turning proud beasts into scavengers.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea/reason at the end of the sentence.
  2. Begin a specific example.
  3. Develop the example.
  4. Continue developing it – here I switch to contrast the life of a lion in a zoo.
  5. Finish developing it and make an overall statement to relate back to the overall question.

1. Regardless, zoos are essential for the preservation and cultivation of endangered species. 2. There are countless animals ranging from various big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, and other sub-species), to pandas, rhinoceros, gorillas, pangolins and many more that depend on zoos for protection and safe breeding grounds. 3. These animals have been driven to the brink of extinction either by loss of habitat due to rampant development and climate change or hunted for their fur or alleged medicinal properties. 4. Responsible zoos are tasked with breeding them in order to stabilise falling populations and then re-introducing them into the wild. 5. Without these zoos, many species would likely already have gone extinct.

  1. Another topic sentence with a clear main idea.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Here I state the causes for animals to be in zoos because that supports the need for zoos.
  4. I further develop the main purpose of zoos.
  5. Conclude your paragraph with a strong sentence.

1. In conclusion, zoos are fundamentally artificial but also a net positive because of their conservation efforts. 2. To ensure this remains the case, these refuges must be well-regulated and governments should enact complementary solutions such as anti-poaching laws.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought/detail to get full marks from the IELTS examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Some concerned groups feel that zoos are cruelly exploitative while others argue they serve the vital function of protecting endangered animals. In my opinion, though zoos are inherently unnatural, their efforts are laudable overall.

Those activists who decry the existence of zoos often point out how animals live in the wild. A lion in the African Serengeti, one of the few remaining preserves for lions in their natural habitat, roams over miles of grassland, hunts for meals and competes with rival prides. This is how lions have lived for thousands of years and is the natural byproduct of a generational process of evolution. The same lion placed in a zoo paces a small cage, is tossed already dead meat to eat, and rarely has other lions to interact or mate with. The evidence for zoos as a cruel institution lies in the contrasting of a natural and unnatural lifestyle and turning proud beasts into scavengers.

Regardless, zoos are essential for the preservation and cultivation of endangered species. There are countless animals ranging from various big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, and other sub-species), to pandas, rhinoceros, gorillas, pangolins and many more that depend on zoos for protection and safe breeding grounds. These animals have been driven to the brink of extinction either by loss of habitat due to rampant development and climate change or hunted for their fur or alleged medicinal properties. Responsible zoos are tasked with breeding them in order to stabilise falling populations and then re-introducing them into the wild. Without these zoos, many species would likely already have gone extinct.

In conclusion, zoos are fundamentally artificial but also a net positive because of their conservation efforts. To ensure this remains the case, these refuges must be well-regulated and governments should enact complementary solutions such as anti-poaching laws.

Answers

concerned groups people who care

cruelly exploitative take advantage of badly

serve the vital function are important because of

protecting endangered animals keeping animals safe with low population numbers

inherently unnatural fundamentally artificial

laudable overall good in general

activists people who care about a specific issue

decry denounce

point out argue

African Serengeti grassland preserve in Africa

preserves conservation lands

natural habitat where they normally live

roams over miles of grassland walks around lots of fields

competes fights with

rival prides other groups of lions

natural byproduct the normal result of

generational process of evolution many years of adaptation

placed in put in

paces walks around

cage enclosure

tossed thrown

rarely sometimes

interact be around other lions

mate with breed, have children with

evidence support

cruel institution lies in evil zoos comes from

contrasting different

natural and unnatural lifestyle what are normal and artifical ways of living

proud beasts animals with dignity

scavengers animals that pick up already dead food

regardless nonetheless

preservation keeping safe

cultivation developing

endangered species animal at risk of going extinct

countless many

sub-species species within a species such as types of frogs, cats, etc.

pangolins a scaly mammal that rolls itself into a ball

depend on rely on

protection conservation

safe breeding grounds places where they can mate and have offspring

driven to the brink of extinction nearly all gone

loss of habitat no more home

rampant development changing a lot, industrialisation

climate change global warming

alleged medicinal properties supposed medical effects

responsible zoos good zoos

tasked with breeding have the duty of helping them mate

stabilise falling populations stop the numbers from decreasing

re-introducing them into the wild letting them go free

extinct all gone

fundamentally artificial at base not natural

net positive overall good

conservation efforts trying to keep them safe

To ensure this remains the case so that this is true

refuges places to be safe

well-regulated lots of oversight

enact complementary solutions pass laws to also protect animals

anti-poaching laws prevent people hunting animals

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

kənˈsɜːnd gruːps 
ˈkrʊəli ˈɛksplɔɪt ˈrɛlətɪv
sɜːv ðə ˈvaɪtl ˈfʌŋkʃən 
prəˈtɛktɪŋ ɪnˈdeɪnʤəd ˈænɪməlz
ɪnˈhɪərəntli ʌnˈnæʧrəl
ˈlɔːdəbl ˈəʊvərɔːl
ˈæktɪvɪsts 
dɪˈkraɪ 
pɔɪnt aʊt 
ˈæfrɪkən ˌsɛrɪˈneɪd gɛt hiː
prɪˈzɜːvz 
ˈnæʧrəl ˈhæbɪtæt
rəʊmz ˈəʊvə maɪlz ɒv ˈgrɑːslænd
kəmˈpiːts 
ˈraɪvəl praɪdz
ˈnæʧrəl ˈbaɪˌprɒdʌkt 
ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃən(ə)l ˈprəʊsɛs ɒv ˌiːvəˈluːʃən
pleɪst ɪn 
ˈpeɪsɪz 
keɪʤ
tɒst 
ˈreəli 
ˌɪntərˈækt 
meɪt wɪð
ˈɛvɪdəns 
krʊəl ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃən laɪz ɪn 
kənˈtrɑːstɪŋ 
ˈnæʧrəl ænd ʌnˈnæʧrəl ˈlaɪfˌstaɪl 
praʊd biːsts 
ˈskævɪnʤəz
rɪˈgɑːdlɪs
ˌprɛzə(ː)ˈveɪʃən 
ˌkʌltɪˈveɪʃən 
ɪnˈdeɪnʤəd ˈspiːʃiːz
ˈkaʊntlɪs 
sʌb-ˈspiːʃiːz
pæŋˈgəʊlɪnz 
dɪˈpɛnd ɒn 
prəˈtɛkʃən 
seɪf ˈbriːdɪŋ graʊndz
ˈdrɪvn tuː ðə brɪŋk ɒv ɪksˈtɪŋkʃən 
lɒs ɒv ˈhæbɪtæt 
ˈræmpənt dɪˈvɛləpmənt 
ˈklaɪmɪt ʧeɪnʤ 
əˈlɛʤd mɛˈdɪsɪnl ˈprɒpətiz
rɪsˈpɒnsəbl zuːz 
tɑːskt wɪð ˈbriːdɪŋ 
ˈsteɪbɪlaɪz ˈfɔːlɪŋ ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃənz 
riː-ˌɪntrəˈdjuːsɪŋ ðɛm ˈɪntuː ðə waɪld
ɪksˈtɪŋkt
ˌfʌndəˈmɛntli ˌɑːtɪˈfɪʃ(ə)l 
nɛt ˈpɒzətɪv 
ˌkɒnsə(ː)ˈveɪʃən ˈɛfəts
tuː ɪnˈʃʊə ðɪs rɪˈmeɪnz ðə keɪs
ˈrɛfjuːʤɪz 
wɛl-ˈrɛgjʊleɪtɪd 
ɪˈnækt ˌkɒmplɪˈmɛntəri səˈluːʃənz 
ˈænti-ˈpəʊʧɪŋ lɔːz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Some c______________________s feel that zoos are c_______________________e while others argue they s________________________n of p________________________________s. In my opinion, though zoos are i_________________________l, their efforts are l________________________l.

Those a______________s who d__________y the existence of zoos often p__________________t how animals live in the wild. A lion in the A______________________________i, one of the few remaining p________________s for lions in their n__________________t, r_____________________________d, hunts for meals and c_____________s with r_________________s. This is how lions have lived for thousands of years and is the n____________________t of a g____________________________________________n. The same lion p______________n a zoo p____________s a small c__________e, is t__________d already dead meat to eat, and r_____________y has other lions to i____________t or m_____________h. The e______________e for zoos as a c___________________________n the c________________g of a n___________________________________e and turning p__________________s into s____________________s.

R________________s, zoos are essential for the p__________________n and c_____________________n of e_____________________s. There are c_________________s animals ranging from various big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, and other s_________________s), to pandas, rhinoceros, gorillas, p_________________s and many more that d_______________n zoos for p________________n and s______________________s. These animals have been d______________________________________n either by l_____________t due to r_______________________t and c__________________e or hunted for their fur or a_______________________________s. R_________________________s are t________________________g them in order to s___________________________s and then r______________________________d. Without these zoos, many species would likely already have gone e_____________t.

In conclusion, zoos are f_________________________l but also a n________________e because of their c__________________________s. T_____________________________________e, these r_________________s must be w_______________________d and governments should e_____________________________________s such as a__________________________s.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Listen more about the pros and cons of zoos here:

Reading Practice

Read more about how zoos are exploitative below:

https://slate.com/technology/2014/06/animal-madness-zoochosis-stereotypic-behavior-and-problems-with-zoos.html

Speaking Practice

Answer the questions below from the real speaking exam:

Pets

Have you ever had a pet?

What kind of pets do people like to have?

What kinds of pets are common in your country?

Do many people in your country have pets?

Real Past IELTS Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the related question below and then check with my sample answer:

Some people say that the main environmental problem of our time is the loss of particular species of plants and animals. Others say that there are more important environmental problems.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

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