IELTS Opinion Question: How to Answer for a Top Band

Consider the IELTS Writing Question: Zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals. Discuss both opinions and give your own opinion. Find the answer to this question in the blog below!

Zoos have long been a subject of debate regarding their effectiveness in protecting wild animals. While some argue that zoos play a crucial role in preserving endangered species and educating the public, others believe that they confine animals to unnatural habitats and prioritize entertainment over conservation efforts. This essay will present both viewpoints and ultimately provide a balanced analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of zoos in protecting wild animals.

Body Paragraph 1: Arguments in favor of zoos

One compelling argument supporting the usefulness of zoos is their potential to conserve endangered species. Zoos often participate in breeding programs and research initiatives to increase the population of endangered animals. These programs provide a controlled environment that minimizes the risk of extinction and facilitates genetic diversity, which is crucial for species survival. Moreover, zoos can serve as a safe haven for injured or orphaned animals that require medical attention and rehabilitation, offering them a chance to return to the wild when possible.

Body Paragraph 2: Criticisms of zoos

However, critics of zoos argue that they inherently compromise animal welfare by confining animals to artificial habitats. The restricted space and limited social interaction in captivity can result in physical and psychological distress for animals, impacting their overall well-being. Animals with wide-ranging natural behaviors may exhibit abnormal behaviors in captivity, which further raises concerns about their quality of life. Additionally, the entertainment factor of zoos sometimes overshadows their conservation purpose, leading to a commercialization of wildlife and detracting from their educational value.

Body Paragraph 3: The educational role of zoos

Despite the criticisms, zoos can also be valuable educational tools. By providing the public with direct access to various animal species, zoos foster awareness and appreciation for wildlife. Many zoos have educational programs, guided tours, and interactive exhibits that teach visitors about animal behavior, conservation challenges, and the importance of biodiversity. Such experiences can inspire individuals, particularly children, to become passionate advocates for wildlife conservation.


In conclusion, the debate over the utility of zoos in protecting wild animals is complex and multifaceted. While zoos have the potential to contribute to species conservation through breeding programs and research, concerns about animal welfare and the commercialization of wildlife cannot be ignored. However, when operated responsibly with a primary focus on conservation and education, zoos can play a positive role in raising awareness, inspiring advocacy, and safeguarding endangered species. Striking a balance between animal welfare and conservation efforts is crucial to ensure that zoos truly fulfill their potential as agents of change.

Explanation and Analysis

In an IELTS essay, adhering to the proper structure and meeting the requirements is crucial for scoring well. The structure typically includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

The introduction plays a vital role in setting the stage for the essay. It provides a clear overview of the topic and clearly presents the two contrasting opinions that will be discussed. In this case, the two opinions are the belief in the usefulness of zoos for wildlife protection and the opposition to zoos. By presenting these opposing viewpoints, the introduction establishes the need for a balanced discussion.

Moving on to the body paragraphs, they serve as the main body of the essay and present the arguments and counterarguments in a logical and organized manner. Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence that clearly states the main point of that paragraph. This topic sentence acts as a roadmap for the reader, informing them of the specific argument or viewpoint that will be discussed in that paragraph.

In this particular essay, the body paragraphs cover three main aspects: arguments in favor of zoos, criticisms against zoos, and the educational role of zoos. The arguments in favor of zoos highlight their potential for conserving endangered species through breeding programs and research initiatives. These programs provide a controlled environment that minimizes the risk of extinction and promotes genetic diversity. To support this argument, specific examples could be provided, such as successful breeding programs that have led to the recovery of endangered species.

The criticisms against zoos focus on the potential negative impacts on animal welfare. This paragraph acknowledges the concerns raised by critics regarding the confinement of animals to artificial habitats and the resulting physical and psychological distress they may experience. To maintain balance, specific examples or studies that highlight instances of compromised animal welfare in zoos could be cited. It is important to provide evidence and logical reasoning to support the arguments.

The third body paragraph highlights the educational role of zoos. This paragraph could discuss how zoos can serve as valuable educational tools by providing direct access to various animal species. It could mention the educational programs, guided tours, and interactive exhibits that zoos offer to teach visitors about animal behavior, conservation challenges, and the importance of biodiversity. Examples of successful educational initiatives undertaken by zoos could be included to strengthen the argument.

Finally, the conclusion brings together the main points discussed throughout the essay. It provides a concise summary of the arguments presented and emphasizes the importance of responsible operation and a focus on conservation and education to maximize the benefits of zoos. The conclusion should not introduce any new arguments but rather restate the main points and offer a balanced viewpoint.

Overall, the essay aims to provide a well-structured and balanced analysis of the topic by considering both sides of the argument and offering a nuanced perspective. The arguments presented are supported with logical reasoning and specific examples, demonstrating a strong and coherent response. By adhering to the structure and requirements of an IELTS essay, the writer ensures that the essay is well-organized and effectively addresses the given topic.

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