Below are the answers to these questions.
1. Why have zoos?
reasons why there are zoos are:
Animals appeal to people throughout the world. At a zoo people can experience animals firsthand as fascinating, wonderful creatures - alive and meaningful. You can read about animals or see them in pictures and films, but nothing replaces the living, breathing animal.
Animal habitats are quickly disappearing everyday everywhere in the world. Thanks to modern technology and an increasing amount of scientific information about animals, in a zoo it's possible to provide excellent homes for different animal species that are designed to meet their particular needs. Many original habitats in which particular animals have developed and grown have been changed by human activities. The animals living in comfortable homes in the zoos remind people that humans are destroying animals' natural habitats, and we must save some wild places or lose many different kinds of animals forever.
Zoos were one of the first people to start breeding programs for many endangered species. Animals, such as the Asiatic wild horse and the Hawaiian goose, would be extinct today if there were no captive breeding programs.
2. What's happening to animals, especially mammals, in the wild?
Human activities have been directly responsible for the extinction of mammals at an ever increasing rate. From the time of Christ until 1800, one species vanished every 55 years. From 1800 through 1900, one species every 18 months. In this past century, one species each 12 months.
3.What is the value of a zoo?
Modern zoos serve as breeding and survival centers for endangered species. They also provide educational and recreational resources for the community and individuals and their families.
4. What about the "cages" in zoos?
These are not cages, but homes. Even exhibits with bars are homes for animals. As quickly as time and money permits, today's zoos are getting rid of of older facilities and building newer, more modern ones. Zoos are trying to reproduce the animal's habitat as closely as possible. A good example of this at the Brandywine Zoo is the Andean condor exhibit. Trees, grass, shrubs, ponds, and rocky hiding places are all part of new exhibits. When necessary, the temperature and humidity are also controlled to provide the proper climate for certain animals.
5. Where do zoos get their animals?
programs are becoming more and more successful, many young animals come
from other zoos. AAZPA, the American Association of Zoos, Parks, and Aquariums,
periodically puts out a computer listing of the surplus animals that the
member zoos have and their cost and also a list of the animals that member
zoos want to buy.
Some animals, although not very many, come from the wild, under permits issued by the Federal Government. Less than 1% of the animals taken from the wild go to zoos. Most of them are bought by the fur trade, the pet industry, and research institutions. Since 1966 members of AAZPA have refused to buy imported animals which were seriously endangered in the wild.
Sometimes, although not often, people have animals they want to get rid of and donate them to the zoo. A few years ago the Brandywine Zoo was given two monkeys that were taken from a ship in the port of Wilmington. Someone had smuggled them onto the ship, and it was illegal to have those monkeys on board.
6. What are some of the things that affect the supply and demand of zoo animals?
Some of the things affecting the number of animals available are: the breeding habits (How often does it breed? How many babies does it have? Will it breed in captivity?); whether or not it is endangered (Is it on the endangered species list? Is its habitat being destroyed?); and laws (There are two big notebooks full of governmental regulations about the trade and transport of certain animals. Permits are required in many cases.)
Some of the things
affecting the number of animals zoos buy are: popularity (This includes
not only the popularity of an animal in terms of zoo visitors, but also
may include the popularity of the animal by groups other than the zoo -
for example, people raising llamas a few years ago.); the amount of money
available (If the zoo has an increase in income, the demand for animals
will increase. If a zoo has a loss of income, then its demand will decrease.);
and costs associated with housing and feeding a particular animal.
7. What criteria does a zoo consider when acquiring an animal?
Some of the
things a zoo considers when acquiring a new animal are: space and habitat
requirements of the species, diversity in the collection (genetic, zoogeographic
theme, etc.), management (dependent on the level of expertise of the staff
and the degree of difficulty to manage the species), past experience, availability
of a specie, public interest, exhibit value of the species, sale value,
and rarity of a species.
8. Do animals in the wild live longer than those in the zoos?
No, the average length of life in captive animals usually is greater than the life expectancy of wild animals.
9. How many people visit zoos?
Every year more than 100,000,000 people visit zoos, aquariums, oceanariums, and wildlife parks in the United States alone. This is more than the attendance at all the football, baseball, and hockey games combined. Last year over 76,800 people visited the Brandywine Zoo. Going to the zoo is very popular.
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