The London Zoological Gardens, was the first real institute where animals were kept in cages to display to the public. The London Zoological Gardens was initially set up as centre for scientific study in the 1820s, and later opened to the general public in 1847.
Today, there are more than 1,000 such places all around the world, with more than 80% of animal programmes being conducted in cities. But with the increasing awareness of animal and environmental protection, and the invention of the television, numerous people from all over the world are able to learn about animals that they would never have seen before without going to the zoo.
Penguin In Tank
So are zoos still the way forward? Typically, animals kept in zoos are often found to be healthier than they are in the wild due to regular feeding but the mental state of the animals in zoos is not as solid as it would be in the wild. Small enclosure sizes mean that those animals that require large territories have much less space and are therefore unable to live a typically normal life.
Not only do the small enclosure sizes affect the animals but also the high levels of noise and pollution that are associated with city living, and the hoards of visitors that go to the zoos to look at the animals on a daily basis. However, it isn't all bad. Many zoos today are participating in programmes based in natural habitats in order to try to protect both the animals and the plant life that exists there.
Captive breeding programmes have also meant that animals that have become vulnerable in the wild, are able to continue existing in a captive environment. But zoos...are they doing more bad than good? Is all this really fair on the animals?
For more information about zoos from around the world, please see: