By Amanda Vender

Have you ever seen a bear or a lion pacing or biting at cage bars? Caged in a small unnatural habitat, many animals become bored, overweight, depressed and likely to adopt other abnormal behaviors.

Several zoos have recently decided to close their elephant exhibits and send the elephants to wildlife sanctuaries, where they are happier living in larger spaces. Animal advocates encourage people to tell zoos not to breed animals and to make sure there is extra space for fewer animals.

Some zoos are developing more humane and innovative programs such as providing refuge for rescued animals and creating satellite links to animals in their natural habitats. Advocates say that the most effective way to save endangered species and to keep animals happy is by saving their natural habitats and letting them live in the wild, not by keeping them in zoos.