How much you can learn about an animal when viewed as an exhibit? The placard placed at the animal's cell usually states only genus and place of habitat. Some zoos don't even bother with placards at all. Similarly, how much would you know about a person from reading the ID card hanging around his neck? And if you ignore the placards and just observe the animal, wouldn't it dawn on you that you are observing the behavior of an animal in captivity rather than its natural behavior if it were free?
Zoos have long enjoyed a free pass by posing as educational institutions. They conveniently excuse the life-long imprisonment and suffering of the animals by citing regular meals, regular medical checkups, and providing a safe place to stay away from their natural predators. Following this logic, would you say that a life in a state penitentiary for a non-criminal isn't so bad either? The point is freedom. All living things have a right to it. Zoos are a farce and teaches our children that imprisoning animals is acceptable.