Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week NEWTON Teachers Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Referencing NEWTON Frequently Asked Questions About Ask A Scientist About NEWTON Education At Argonne Captive vs Wild Animals

Name: Brianna
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: MA
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2013

Who lives longer, endangered animals in the wild or in captivity? Why?


Captive animals live longer, mostly, because they get fed on a schedule without having to risk their lives to catch prey, they get medical care when they need it, and they are protected against predators.

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart

Most often captive animals live longer than their wild counterparts. Captives are usually well fed and cared for, and do not face all the hazards of life in the wild.

J Elliott

It depends on the species and individual, but overall animals tend to live longer in captivity due to veterinary care that they would not receive in the wild.

Grace Field

Hi Brianna,

Thanks for the question. Animals in captivity can often live longer than animals in the wild for several reasons. First, animals in captivity are cared for by veterinarians and given a good supply of food. Second, animals in captivity are not killed and eaten by predators that would be found in the wild. Third, many of the dangers such as poaching are not experienced by animals in captivity.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions. Thanks Jeff

Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 223
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: November 2011
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory