Giving psychoactive meds to pets has become a pretty common practice, but I never considered whether zoo animals need them too. Apparently they do, as National Geographic documents. I only question one of Nat Geo's examples:
"Polar bears are notorious for pacing," explained zoo veterinarian Doug Whiteside. "They wander in the wild for long distances and probably have this internal drive to walk, and zoos can't provide them with the huge distance."
Whiteside said Misty significantly reduced her pacing when she was given the drug [Prozac] in 1995. She only had to stay on it for five months to cure the disorder. [emphasis mine]
Let me guess: Soon zoos will administer drugs to cure them of other annoying internal drives, like those for food, water, sleep, and sex.
The obvious correlation (to me at least) is with children in classrooms. The wry take: Yes, drug the animals/kids into submission for the convenience of the people around them! Maybe I'm glib but that's a bit of malarkey. Indeed, zoos and classrooms are both manmade constructs that go against the grain of natural instincts. But in today's world, they are both necessary. We can't have lions running around the city, and we can't provide fully individualized kinetic educational experiences for each child, as much as John Dewey's ghost (and I) would like.
Humans did not evolve to sit at desks for eight hours a day staring at a lecturer/book/computer, but culture has evolved to that point, and our monkey minds need to keep up somehow. If I need artificial means (Ritalin) to maximize my potential in an artificial environment, so be it. I'm at peace with that.