Zoos Promote Education and Conservation

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100_6605I have always loved to visit the zoo. At their best, zoos are places that educate the public about wild animals, while working to ensure species’ long-term survival. I have been to a handful of places that are 100_6627better described as attractions, with sad-looking animals that are sometimes in poor health; I am not a fan of these, but reputable zoos have a place in our world.

Today’s zoological societies focus on caring for animals, both physically and mentally. The Philadelphia Zoo, the nation’s oldest, takes this concept seriously. Many exhibits have been redesigned with the animals’ comfort in mind, and after studying the way these animals behave in the wild. A num100_6636ber of enrichment “toys” are provided (sometimes made more attractive by adding enticing scents), encouraging animals to engage in behavior that mimics that of their wild relatives. In addition, 100_6631breeding programs are working to ensure the survival of some species. Signs near each animal’s enclosure provide information about the animal and its natural habitat. Special programs for all ages educate visitors on the importance of ecosystems and how we, as mammals, have some things in common with the zoos full-time residents.

The Philadelphia Zoo also has developed a new way for animals to explore areas previously inhabited by other species with similar habitat requirements. A series of see-through mesh trails allows some of the primates and big cats to wander about the zoo, reducing stress brought on by boredom and increasing their ability to exercise.

IMG_2397Not far from Philadelphia, the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA has a  population of animals mostly native to North America.IMG_2352 It has grown from a small IMG_2370IMG_2359privately-owned collection assortment of animals to a non-profit organization accredited by the Association of Zoos IMG_2381and Aquariums. Like many other zoos, it has education and outreach programs to raise awareness and appreciation for wildlife and the environment.

Author: Kimberly Yavorski

Hi! I am a freelance writer who loves to learn about new things and then write about them. I started my publishing career working as an assistant editor at a biweekly computer trade journal (unless you count my college newspaper). Other past experience includes writing for local newspapers as well as a contributing editor position for a senior lifestyle magazine. My work can currently be found in several parenting magazines and blogs as well as on my own blogs which can be accessed from my website. When I am not writing articles and blog posts, I am at work on a historical novel for young adults or spending time with my family. I love the outdoors, whether it be at the beach or the mountains, especially if there is flowing water nearby. I usually have my camera along with me; you will see my photos scattered throughout my site.

2 thoughts on “Zoos Promote Education and Conservation”

  1. I love zoos when the animals are well cared for :) I’d love to visit Philadelphia zoo but it’s a bit far for me (I’m in the UK) if I ever find myself in Philly it’s definitely a place I would visit
    Debbie

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