Zoo Animal Pictures BiographyThe Zoological Society of London was founded in 1826 by Stamford Raffles and established the London Zoo in Regent's Park two years later in 1828. At its founding, it was the world's first scientific zoo. Originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study, it was eventually opened to the public in 1847. The Zoo was located in Regent's Park - then undergoing development at the hands of the architect John Nash. What set the London zoo apart from its predecessors was its focus on society at large. The zoo was established in the middle of a city for the public, and its layout was designed to cater for the large London population. The London zoo was widely copied as the archetype of the public city zoo. In 1853, the Zoo opened the world's first public aquarium.
Dublin Zoo was opened in 1831 by members of the medical profession interested in studying animals while they were alive and more particularly getting hold of them when they were dead. The first zoological garden in Australia was Melbourne Zoo in 1860. In the same year, Central Park Zoo, the first public zoo in the United States, opened in New York, although in 1859, the Philadelphia Zoological Society had made an effort to establish a zoo, but delayed opening it until 1874 because of the American Civil War.
In 1907, the German entrepreneur Carl Hagenbeck founded the Tierpark Hagenbeck in Stellingen, now a quarter of Hamburg. His zoo was a radical departure from the layout of the zoo that had been established in 1828. It was the first zoo to use open enclosures surrounded by moats, rather than barred cages, to better approximate animals' natural environments. He also set up mixed-species exhibits and based the layout on the different organizing principle of geography, as opposed to taxonomy.
When ecology emerged as a matter of public interest in the 1970s, a few zoos began to consider making conservation their central role, with Gerald Durrell of the Jersey Zoo, George Rabb of Brookfield Zoo, and William Conway of the Bronx Zoo (Wildlife Conservation Society) leading the discussion. From then on, zoo professionals became increasingly aware of the need to engage themselves in conservation programs, and the American Zoo Association soon said that conservation was its highest priority. Because they wanted to stress conservation issues, many large zoos stopped the practice of having animals perform tricks for visitors. The Detroit Zoo, for example, stopped its elephant show in 1969, and its chimpanzee show in 1983, acknowledging that the trainers had probably abused the animals to get them to perform.
Whipsnade Park in Bedfordshire, England, was opened in 1931 as the first safari park. It allowed visitors to drive through the enclosures and come into close proximity to the animals.
Unfortunately, mass destruction of wildlife habitat has yet to cease all over the world and many species are in danger of dying out. Today's zoos hope to stop or slow the decline of many endangered species. Many zoos see their primary purpose as breeding endangered species in captivity and reintroducing them into the wild. Some critics say that zoos, no matter what their intentions are, are immoral and serve nothing but fill human leisure. However, zoo advocates argue that their efforts make a difference in wildlife conservation and education.
Ota Benga, a human exhibit in New York, 1906
Further information: Human zoos, Scientific racism, and Social Darwinism
Human beings were sometimes displayed in cages along with non-human animals, supposedly to illustrate the differences between people of European and non-European origin. In September 1906, William Hornaday, director of the Bronx Zoo in New York—with the agreement of Madison Grant, head of the New York Zoological Society—had Ota Benga, a Congolese pygmy, displayed in a cage with the chimpanzees, then with an orangutan named Dohong, and a parrot. The exhibit was intended as an example of the "missing link" between the orangutan and white man. It triggered protests from the city's clergymen, but the public reportedly flocked to see it.
Human beings were also displayed in cages during the 1931 Paris Colonial Exposition, and as late as 1958 in a "Congolese village" display at Expo '58 in Brussels.
Further information: List of zoos and Immersion exhibit
Monkey islands, São Paulo zoo
Zoo animals live in enclosures that often attempt to replicate their natural habitats or behavioral patterns, for the benefit of both the animals and visitors. Nocturnal animals are often housed in buildings with a reversed light-dark cycle, i.e. only dim white or red lights are on during the day so the animals are active during visitor hours, and brighter lights on at night when the animals sleep. Special climate conditions may be created for animals living in extreme environments, such as penguins. Special enclosures for birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, fish, and other aquatic life forms have also been developed. Some zoos have walk-through exhibits where visitors enter enclosures of non-aggressive species, such as lemurs, marmosets, birds, lizards, and turtles. Visitors are asked to keep to paths and avoid showing or eating foods that the animals might snatch.
Main article: Safari park
Giraffes in the West Midland Safari Park
Some zoos keep animals in larger, outdoor enclosures, confining them with moats and fences, rather than in cages. Safari parks, also known as zoo parks and lion farms, allow visitors to drive through them and come in close proximity to the animals. Sometimes, visitors are able to feed animals through the car windows. The first safari park was Whipsnade Park in Bedfordshire, England, opened by the Zoological Society of London in 1931 which today (2014) covers 600 acres (2.4 km²). Since the early 1970s, a 1,800 acre (7 km²) park in the San Pasqual Valley near San Diego has featured the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, run by the Zoological Society of San Diego. One of two state-supported zoo parks in North Carolina is the 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. The 500-acre (2.0 km2) Werribee Open Range Zoo in Melbourne, Australia, displays animals living in an artificial savannah.
Sea lions at the Melbourne Zoo
The first public aquarium was opened in London Zoo in 1853. This was followed by the opening of public aquaria in continental Europe (e.g. Paris 1859, Hamburg 1864, Berlin 1869, Brighton 1872) and the United States (e.g. Boston 1859, Washington 1873, San Francisco Woodward's Garden 1873, New York Battery Park 1896). In 2005, the non-profit Georgia Aquarium opened with more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species, including whale sharks and beluga whales.
Roadside zoos are found throughout North America, particularly in remote locations. They are small, unregulated, for-profit zoos, often intended to attract visitors to some other facility, such as a gas station. The animals may be trained to perform tricks, and visitors are able to get closer to them than in larger zoos. Since they are sometimes less regulated, roadside zoos are often subject to accusations of neglect and cruelty.
Main article: Petting zoo
A petting zoo, also called petting farms or children's zoos, features a combination of domestic animals and wild species that are docile enough to touch and feed. To ensure the animals' health, the food is supplied by the zoo, either from vending machines or a kiosk nearby.
Animal theme parks
Main article: Animal theme park
An animal theme park is a combination of an amusement park and a zoo, mainly for entertaining and commercial purposes. Marine mammal parks such as Sea World and Marineland are more elaborate dolphinariums keeping whales, and containing additional entertainment attractions. Another kind of animal theme park contains more entertainment and amusement elements than the classical zoo, such as a stage shows, roller coasters, and mythical creatures. Some examples are Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida, Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire, England and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California .
Sources of animals
When they arrive at a new zoo, animals usually spend time in quarantine, and are given time to acclimatize to their new enclosures which are often designed to mimic their natural environment. For example, some species of penguins may require refrigerated enclosures. Guidelines on necessary care for such animals is published in the International Zoo Yearbook.
Conservation and research
The African plains exhibit at North Carolina Zoo illustrates the dimension of an open-range zoo.
The position of most modern zoos in Australasia, Europe, and North America, particularly those with scientific societies, is that they display wild animals primarily for the conservation of endangered species, as well as for research purposes and education, and secondarily for the entertainment of visitors, an argument disputed by critics. The Zoological Society of London states in its charter that its aim is "the advancement of Zoology and Animal Physiology and the introduction of new and curious subjects of the Animal Kingdom." It maintains two research institutes, the Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine and the Wellcome Institute of Comparative Physiology. In the U.S., the Penrose Research Laboratory of the Philadelphia Zoo focuses on the study of comparative pathology. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums produced its first conservation strategy in 1993, and in November 2004, it adopted a new strategy that sets out the aims and mission of zoological gardens of the 21st century.
The breeding of endangered species is coordinated by cooperative breeding programmes containing international studbooks and coordinators, who evaluate the roles of individual animals and institutions from a global or regional perspective, and there are regional programmes all over the world for the conservation of endangered species.