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Animals that live under human care are in captivity. Captivity can be used as a generalizing term to describe the keeping of either domesticated animals (livestock and pets) or wild animals. This may include for example farms, private homes and zoos. Keeping animals in human captivity and under human care can thus be distinguished between three primary categories according to the particular motives, objectives and conditions.
The domestication of animals is the oldest documented instance of keeping animals in captivity. This process eventually resulted in habituation of wild animal species to survive in the company of, or by the labor of, human beings. Domesticated species are those whose behaviour, life cycle, or physiology has been altered as a result of their breeding and living conditions under human control for multiple generations. Probably the earliest known domestic animal was the dog, likely as early as 15000 BC among hunter-gatherers in several locations.
Throughout history not only domestic animals as pets and livestock were kept in captivity and under human care, but also wild animals. Some were failed domestication attempts. Also, in past times, primarily the wealthy, aristocrats and kings collected wild animals for various reasons. Contrary to domestication, the ferociousness and natural behaviour of the wild animals were preserved and exhibited. Today's zoos claim other reasons for keeping animals under human care: conservation, education and science.
Captive animals, especially those not domesticated, sometimes develop repetitive and purposeless motor behaviors called stereotypical behaviors. Examples of stereotypical behaviours include pacing around or self-grooming. These behaviors are believed caused by the animals' abnormal environment. Many who keep animals in captivity, especially in zoos and related institutions and in research institutions, attempt to prevent or decrease stereotypical behavior by introducing novel stimuli, known as environmental enrichment.
Wild Animal Keeping:
Cruelty to Animals and Animal Welfare: