Posted on December 27, 2016
(Actually, we will ALL enjoy our zoo visits so much more if we visit on different days. I'm not suggesting some sort of stagger-system in which people whose last names start from A to G go today, and those with last names H to N go tomorrow, and so on...But how about if we make a commitment to go to the zoo sometime this month, and then actually DO it?)
Why go to the zoo?
Back in the day, people who loved animals and wanted to see exotic animals from faraway places might feel excited to go to the zoo...but sad as they left it, because the grand animals they'd seen had been caged in tiny enclosures. Some people complained that, although zoos were very interesting places for people, they were depressing places for animals to live.
Thank goodness, that's not true of most zoos, these days. Good zoos around the world have large, interesting enclosures for animals and, with the lack of predators and parasites, the medical care, and the fine-tuned-to-each-species meals, many animals' lives inside zoos are as least as happy as those in the wild.
Also, modern zoos are responsible for important conservation efforts such as building back numbers of highly endangered species, and reintroducing these vulnerable animals into the wild. Modern zoos and wildlife sanctuaries and national parks communicate with one another and use a data base of the genetics on all the animals of a particular species so that they can maintain genetic diversity (variation), which helps the species overall.
Some people have said that zoos are a kind of ark that can save enough animals to repopulate, even if something dreadful happens to that animal in the wild.
Of course, education is also an important aspect of zoos. People learn about world animals even more when they see and hear them in real life than when they watch specials about them on TV. And real-life encounters are often important to making people CARE about animals, as well.
Naturally, research is another important part of modern zoos. Some research must be done with wild animals and untouched habitats, but we also learn a lot of crucial information when we try to mate, birth, and raise animals, when we try to keep them healthy, to move them, and so forth. Some of the lessons learned in zoos can be used with animals in the wild!
So make a commitment to spending some time and money on the nearest good zoo!! Enjoy!
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