The inbreeding is a large contributing factor. Before the 70’s animal breeding in the US was a fucking nightmare. All of it was done like a puppy mill, pretty much. Records were not good.
This results in an animal populace that had been unscientifically bred for commercial purposes being the primary available breeding stock to begin actual scientific breeding. Do you get it? We started out with almost uniformly defective breeding stock full of bad traits we have been breeding out for 40 years. These animals like past 60, we’re only a few generations into a complete overhaul of a biome.
Now, at the same time people became more “woke” about captive breeding we also became more “woke” about importing endangered animals. The very good moral awakening that started the change in how we bred these animals also retarded our ability to get fresh genetic material to make our efforts work better.
The other factor is that the high infant mortality rate is basically made up and unsupported by actual scientific field reports. Why on Earth would you be willing to believe that animals bred in captivity have a higher mortality rate than wild bred animals? There is a higher specific mortality rate due to some genetic abnormalities. Not a higher overall mortality rate.
Your one source is an animal rights org and not a scientific org. You accuse me of not presenting fact, that’s because anyone with google can find this on their own from peer review sources easily and I can’t be accused of cherrypicking.
I validate the truth of how you feel. But that’s what it is, feelings. The scientists running the breeding program have a specific agenda: “preserve the species”. It is clear and they can show you a charted path that they are on towards that end.
You have no agenda beyond “that’s bad, it’s mean, and I have no practical means to do anything about preserving animals but I have a lot of complaints” You’re the Republican Congress wanting to abolish the ACA with no idea how to replace it.