Zoos pp 25-29 | Cite as

‘Wild Animals in Captivity’

Is This an Oxymoron?
  • Keekok Lee


The last chapter attempted to shed light on the ontological status of animals in the wild as naturally occurring beings. The next five chapters will try analogously to clarify the ontological status of zoo animals. However, this chapter will grapple specifically with a basic problem of terminology, whether it is conceptually appropriate to refer to animals in zoos as ‘wild animals in captivity’. It will argue that the term is an oxymoron. The phrase makes perfect grammatical sense, yet the terms ‘wild’ on the one hand, and ‘captive’/‘captivity’ on the other, do not yield conceptual coherence.


Wild Animal Ontological Status Flight Distance Flight Tendency Zoological Garden 
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Copyright information

© Keekok Lee 2005

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  • Keekok Lee

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