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Preservation or prison?

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For the past four years, Canadian-born photographer Gaston Lacombe has been documenting the lives of animals in captivity at zoos across the world.

For the project titled 'Captive', Lacombe has visited zoos in nine countries on five continents, and the one thing he found in common is how bored they all look in their humdrum lives behind bars.

The DC-based photographer won't identify which zoos in particular he visited since he doesn't want to draw criticism to any one zoo.

'Even in the very best of zoos you still find animals placed in horrible cement enclosures or little glass boxes,' Lacombe told Wired.

Instead, he wants people to rethink the entire idea of zoos. He doesn't think they should be abolished, but more thought should be put into how animals are cared for in these captivities.

'Not all zoos are equal. Some make great efforts to provide their animals with adequate and comfortable habitats, and some others can only be described as animal torture chambers. However, in all zoos, there are always some animals wedged in habitats that are inappropriate, inadequate and uncomfortable. I still haven't seen any exceptions to this,' he said.

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