Bear researchers and managers are sometimes critical of ex situ programs. Skeptical that zoo science confers much, if any value to better understanding polar bears in captivity or in the wild where polar bear habitat is clearly vanishing, field biologists are sometimes justified in their skepticism.
Tens of millions of Americans live in urban areas that might be described as concrete jungles, largely devoid of nonhuman life. Sure, there's probably a nicely manicured oak tree on the street corner and your apartment building may be overrun by roaches, but when was the last time you truly connected with nature? Let me guess: your childhood?