A zoo (also called an animal park or menagerie) is a facility in which all animals are housed within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also breed.
The term "zoological garden" refers to zoology, the study of animals, a term deriving from the Greek 'zoion, "animal," and logia, "study.". The abbreviation "zoo" was first used of the London Zoological Gardens, which was opened for scientific study in 1828 and to the public in 1857. In the United States alone, zoos are visited by over 180 million people annually.
The London Zoo, which opened in 1826, was initially known as the "Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London", and it described itself as a menagerie or "zoological forest". The abbreviation "zoo" first appeared in print in the United Kingdom around 1847, when it was used for the Clifton Zoo, but it was not until some 20 years later that the shortened form became popular in the song "Walking in the Zoo" by music-hall artist Alfred Vance. The term "zoological park" was used for more expansive facilities in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Washington, D.C., and the Bronx in New York, which opened in 1847, 1891 and 1899 respectively.
Relatively new terms for zoos coined in the late 20th century are "conservation park" or "biopark". Adopting a new name is a strategy used by some zoo professionals to distance their institutions from the stereotypical and nowadays criticized zoo concept of the 19th century. The term "biopark" was first coined and developed by the National Zoo in Washington D.C. in the late 1980s. In 1993, the New York Zoological Society changed its name to the Wildlife Conservation Society and rebranded the zoos under its jurisdiction as "wildlife conservation parks".
The predecessor of the zoological garden is the menagerie, which has a long history from the ancient world to modern times. The oldest known zoological collection was revealed during excavations at Hierakonpolis, Egypt in 2009, of a ca. 3500 BCE menagerie. The exotic animals included hippopotami, hartebeest, elephants, baboons and wildcats. King Ashur-bel-kala of the Middle Assyrian Empire created zoological and botanical gardens in the 11th century BCE. In the 2nd century BCE, the Chinese Empress Tanki had a "house of deer" built, and King Wen of Zhou kept a 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) zoo called Ling-Yu, or the Garden of Intelligence. Other well-known collectors of animals included King Solomon of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah, queen Semiramis and King Ashurbanipal of Assyria, and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia. By the 4th century BCE, zoos existed in most of the Greek city states; Alexander the Great is known to have sent animals that he found on his military expeditions back to Greece. The Roman emperors kept private collections of animals for study or for use in the arena, the latter faring notoriously poorly. The 19th-century historian W. E. H. Lecky wrote of the Roman games, first held in 366 BCE:
At one time, bear and a bull, chained together, rolled in fierce combat across the sand ... Four hundred bears were killed in a single day under Caligula ... Under Nero, four hundred tigers fought with bulls and elephants. In a single day, at the dedication of the Colosseum by Titus, five thousand animals perished. Under Trajan ... lions, tigers, elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotami, giraffes, bulls, stags, even crocodiles and serpents were employed to give novelty to the spectacle.
Charlemagne had an elephant named Abul-Abbas that was given to him by the Abbasid Caliph. Henry I of England kept a collection of animals at his palace in Woodstock which reportedly included lions, leopards, and camels. The most prominent collection in medieval England was in the Tower of London, created as early as 1204 by King John I.
Henry III received a wedding gift in 1235 of three leopards from Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, and in 1264, the animals were moved to the Bulwark, renamed the Lion Tower, near the main western entrance of the Tower. It was opened to the public during the reign of Elizabeth I in the 16th century. During the 18th century, the price of admission was three half-pence, or the supply of a cat or dog for feeding to the lions. The animals were moved to the London Zoo when it opened.
Aztec emperor Moctezuma had in his capital city of Tenochtitlan a "house of animals" with a large collection of birds, mammals and reptiles in a garden tended by more than 600 employees. The garden was described by several Spanish conquerors, including Hernán Cortés in 1520. After the Aztec revolt against the Spanish rule, and during the subsequent battle for the city, Cortés reluctantly ordered the zoo to be destroyed.
The oldest zoo in the world still in existence is the Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, Austria. It was constructed by Adrian van Stekhoven in 1752 at the order of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, husband of Maria Theresa of Austria, to serve as an imperial menagerie as part of Schönbrunn Palace. The menagerie was initially reserved for the viewing pleasure of the imperial family and the court, but was made accessible to the public in 1765.
In 1775, a zoo was founded in Madrid, and in 1795, the zoo inside the Jardin des Plantes in Paris was founded by Jacques-Henri Bernardin, with animals from the royal menagerie at Versailles, primarily for scientific research and education. The Kazan Zoo, the first zoo in Russia was founded in 1806 by the Professor of Kazan State University Karl Fuchs.
Until the early 19th century, the function of the zoo was often to symbolize royal power, like King Louis XIV's menagerie at Versailles. The modern zoo that emerged in the early 19th century at Halifax, London, Paris and Dublin, was focused on providing educational exhibits to the public for entertainment and inspiration.
A growing fascination for natural history and zoology, coupled with the tremendous expansion in the urbanization of London, led to a heightened demand for a greater variety of public forms of entertainment to be made available. The need for public entertainment, as well as the requirements of scholarly research, came together in the founding of the first modern zoos.
The 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.
Downs' Zoological Gardens created by Andrew Downs and opened to the Nova Scotia public in 1847. It was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. By the early 1860s, the zoo grounds covered 40 hectares with many fine flowers and ornamental trees, picnic areas, statues, walking paths, The Glass House (which contained a greenhouse with an aviary, aquarium, and museum of stuffed animals and birds), a pond, a bridge over a waterfall, an artificial lake with a fountain, a wood-ornamented greenhouse, a forest area, and enclosures and buildings.
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. In order 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.
The Wrocław Zoo (Polish: Ogród Zoologiczny we Wrocławiu), the oldest zoo in Poland opened in 1865 and was home to about 10,500 animals representing about 1,132 species (in terms of the number of animal species it is the third largest in the world). In 2014 the Wrocław Zoo opened the Africarium, the only themed oceanarium devoted solely to exhibiting the fauna of Africa, comprehensively presenting selected ecosystems from the continent of Africa. Housing over 10 thousand animals, the facility's breadth extends from housing insects such cockroaches to the large mammals like the elephants on an area of over 33 hectares .
Mass destruction of wildlife habitat has yet to cease all over the world and many species such as elephants, big cats, penguins, tropical birds, primates, rhinos, exotic reptiles, and many others are in danger of dying out. Many of today's zoos hope to stop or slow the decline of many endangered species and see their primary purpose as breeding endangered species in captivity and reintroducing them into the wild. Modern zoos also aim to help teach visitors the importance on animal conservation, often through letting visitors witness the animals firsthand. Some critics and the majority of animal rights activists say that zoos, no matter what their intentions are, or how noble they are, are immoral and serve as nothing but to fulfill human leisure at the expense of the animals (which is an opinion that has spread over the years). However, zoo advocates argue that their efforts make a difference in wildlife conservation and education.
Human beings were sometimes displayed in cages along with non-human animals, 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.
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.
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, an 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.
The first public aquarium was opened at the London Zoo in 1853. This was followed by the opening of public aquaria in continental Europe (e.g. Paris in 1859, Hamburg in 1864, Berlin in 1869, and Brighton in 1872) and the United States (e.g. Boston in 1859, Washington in 1873, San Francisco Woodward's Garden in 1873, and the New York Aquarium at Battery Park in 1896).
Roadside zoos are found throughout North America, particularly in remote locations. They are often small, 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.
In June 2014 the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the Iowa-based roadside Cricket Hollow Zoo for violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to provide proper care for its animals. Since filing the lawsuit, ALDF has obtained records from investigations conducted by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services; these records show that the zoo is also violating the Animal Welfare Act.
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.
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 and Gatorland in Orlando, Florida, Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire, England, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California.
By the year 2000 most animals being displayed in zoos were the offspring of other zoo animals. This trend, however was and still is somewhat species-specific. When animals are transferred between zoos, they 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.
The position of most modern zoos in Australasia, Asia, 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.
Conservation programs all over the world fight to protect species from going extinct, but the unfortunate reality is, most conservation programs are underfunded and underrepresented. Conservation programs can struggle to fight bigger issues like habitat loss and illness. To rebuild degrading habitats takes major funding and a massive amount of time, both of which are scarce in conservation efforts. The current state of conservation programs cannot rely solely on situ (onsite conservation) plans alone, ex-situ (off-site conservation) is often needed. Off-site conservation relies on zoos, national parks, or other care facilities to support the rehabilitation of the animals and their populations. Zoos benefit conservation by providing suitable habitats and care to endangered animals. When properly regulated, they present a safe, clean environment for the animals to diversely repopulate. A study on amphibian conservation and zoos addressed these problems by writing,
Whilst addressing in situ threats, particularly habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, is of primary importance; for many amphibian species in situ conservation alone will not be enough, especially in light of current un-mitigatable threats that can impact populations very rapidly such as chytridiomycosis [an infectious fungal disease]. Ex-situ programmes can complement in situ activities in a number of ways including maintaining genetically and demographically viable populations while threats are either better understood or mitigated in the wild 
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. In Africa, conservation is handled by the African Preservation Program (APP); in the U.S. and Canada by Species Survival Plans; in Australasia, by the Australasian Species Management Program; in Europe, by the European Endangered Species Program; and in Japan, South Asia, and South East Asia, by the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the South Asian Zoo Association for Regional Cooperation, and the South East Asian Zoo Association.
Besides conservation of captive species, large zoos may form a suitable environment for wild native animals such as herons to live in or visit. A colony of black-crowned night herons has regularly summered at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. for more than a century. Some zoos may provide information to visitors on wild animals visiting or living in the zoo, or encourage them by directing them to specific feeding or breeding platforms.
In modern, well-regulated zoos, breeding is controlled to maintain a self-sustaining, global captive population. This is not the case in some less well-regulated zoos, often based in poorer regions. Overall "stock turnover" of animals during a year in a select group of poor zoos was reported as 20%-25% with 75% of wild caught apes dying in captivity within the first 20 months. The authors of the report stated that before successful breeding programs, the high mortality rate was the reason for the "massive scale of importations."
One 2-year study indicated that of 19,361 mammals that left accredited zoos in the U.S. between 1992 and 1998, 7,420 (38%) went to dealers, auctions, hunting ranches, unaccredited zoos and individuals, and game farms.
The welfare of zoo animals varies widely. Many zoos work to improve their animal enclosures and make it fit the animals' needs, although constraints such as size and expense make it difficult to create ideal captive environments for many species.
A study examining data collected over four decades found that polar bears, lions, tigers and cheetahs show evidence of stress in captivity. Zoos can be internment camps for animals, but also a place of refuge. A zoo can be considered an internment camp due to the insufficient enclosures that the animals have to live in. When an elephant is placed in a pen that is flat, has no tree, no other elephants and only a few plastic toys to play with; it can lead to boredom and foot problems (Lemonic, McDowel, and Bjerklie 50). Also, animals can have a shorter life span when they are in these types of enclosures. Causes can be human diseases, materials in the cages, and possible escape attempts (Bendow 382). However, when zoos take time to think about the animal's welfare, zoos can become a place of refuge. There are animals that are injured in the wild and are unable to survive on their own, but in the zoos they can live out the rest of their lives healthy and happy (McGaffin). In recent years, some zoos have chosen to stop showing their larger animals because they are simply unable to provide an adequate enclosure for them (Lemonic, McDowell, and Bjerklie 50).
Some critics and many animal rights activists argue that zoo animals are treated as voyeuristic objects, rather than living creatures, and often suffer due to the transition from being free and wild to captivity. In the last 2 decades, European and North-American zoos, strongly depend on breeding within zoos, while decreasing the number of wild caught animals.
Many modern zoos attempt to improve animal welfare by providing more space and behavioural enrichments. This often involves housing the animals in naturalistic enclosures that allow the animals to express some of their natural behaviours, such as roaming and foraging. However, many animals remain in barren concrete enclosures or other minimally enriched cages.
Animals which naturally range over many km each day, or make seasonal migrations, are unable to perform these behaviors in zoo enclosures. For example, elephants usually travel approximately 45 km (28 mi) each day.
Animals in zoos often exhibit behaviors that are abnormal in their frequency, intensity, or would not normally be part of their behavioural repertoire. These are usually indicative of stress. For example, elephants sometimes perform head-bobbing, bears sometimes pace repeatedly around the limits of their enclosure, wild cats sometimes groom themselves obsessively, and birds pluck out their own feathers. Some critics of zoos claim that the animals are always under physical and mental stress, regardless of the quality of care towards the animals. Elephants have been recorded displaying stereotypical behaviours in the form of swaying back and forth, trunk swaying or route tracing. This has been observed in 54% of individuals in UK zoos.
Elephants in Japanese zoos have shorter lifespans than their wild counterparts at only 17 years, although other studies suggest that zoo elephants live as long as those in the wild. On the other hand, many other animals, such as reptiles, can live much longer than they would in the wild.
Climatic conditions can make it difficult to keep some animals in zoos in some locations. For example, Alaska Zoo had an elephant named Maggie. She was housed in a small, indoor enclosure because the outdoor temperature was too low.
Especially in large animals, a limited number of spaces are available in zoos. As a consequence, various management tools are used to preserve the space for the most "valuable" individuals and reduce the risk of inbreeding. Management of animal populations is typically through international organizations such as AZA and EAZA. Zoos have several different ways of managing the animal populations, such as moves between zoos, contraception, sale of excess animals and euthanization (culling).
Contraception can be effective, but may also have health repercussions and can be difficult (or even impossible) to reverse in some animals. Additionally, some species may lose their reproductive capability entirely if prevented from breeding for a period (whether through contraceptives or isolation), but further study is needed on the subject. Sale of surplus animals from zoos was once common and in some cases animals have ended up in substandard facilities. In recent decades the practice of selling animals from certified zoos has declined. A large number of animals are culled each year in zoos, but this is controversial. A highly publicized culling as part of population management was that of a healthy giraffe at Copenhagen Zoo in 2014. The zoo argued that its genes already were well-represented in captivity, making the giraffe unsuitable for future breeding. There were offers to adopt it and an online petition to save it had many thousand signatories, but the culling proceeded. Although zoos in some countries have been open about culling, the controversy of the subject and pressure from the public has resulted in others being closed. This stands in contrast to most zoos publicly announcing animal births. Furthermore, while many zoos are willing to cull smaller and/or low-profile animals, fewer are willing to do it with larger high-profile species.
In many countries, feeding live vertebrates to zoo animals is illegal, except in exceptional circumstances. For example, some snakes refuse to eat dead prey. However, in the Badaltearing Safari Park in China, visitors can throw live goats into the lion enclosure and watch them being eaten, or can purchase live chickens tied to bamboo rods for the equivalent of 2 dollars/euros to dangle into lion pens. Visitors can drive through the lion compound in buses with specially designed chutes which they can use to push live chickens into the enclosure. In the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village near Guilin in south-east China, live cows and pigs are thrown to tigers to amuse visitors.
In Qingdao zoo (Eastern China), visitors can engage in "tortoise baiting", where tortoises are kept inside small rooms with elastic bands around their necks so that they are unable to retract their heads. Visitors are allowed to throw coins at them. The marketing claim is that if a person hits one of the tortoises on the head and makes a wish, it will be fulfilled.
In the United States, any public animal exhibit must be licensed and inspected by the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Depending on the animals they exhibit, the activities of zoos are regulated by laws including the Endangered Species Act, the Animal Welfare Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and others. Additionally, zoos in North America may choose to pursue accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). To achieve accreditation, a zoo must pass an application and inspection process and meet or exceed the AZA's standards for animal health and welfare, fundraising, zoo staffing, and involvement in global conservation efforts. Inspection is performed by three experts (typically one veterinarian, one expert in animal care, and one expert in zoo management and operations) and then reviewed by a panel of twelve experts before accreditation is awarded. This accreditation process is repeated once every five years. The AZA estimates that there are approximately 2,400 animal exhibits operating under USDA license as of February 2007; fewer than 10% are accredited.
In April 1999, the European Union introduced a directive to strengthen the conservation role of zoos, making it a statutory requirement that they participate in conservation and education, and requiring all member states to set up systems for their licensing and inspection. Zoos are regulated in the UK by the Zoo Licensing Act of 1981, which came into effect in 1984. A zoo is defined as any "establishment where wild animals are kept for exhibition ... to which members of the public have access, with or without charge for admission, seven or more days in any period of twelve consecutive months", excluding circuses and pet shops. The Act requires that all zoos be inspected and licensed, and that animals kept in enclosures are provided with a suitable environment in which they can express most normal behavior.
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Arignar Anna Zoological Park (abbreviated AAZP), also known as the Vandalur Zoo, is a zoological garden located in Vandalur, is in the southwestern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, about 31 kilometres (19 mi) from the Chennai Central and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Chennai Airport. Established in 1855, it is the first public zoo in India. It is affiliated with the Central Zoo Authority of India. Spread over an area of 602 hectares (1,490 acres), including a 92.45-hectare (228.4-acre) rescue and rehabilitation centre, the park is the largest zoological park in India. The zoo houses 2,553 species of flora and fauna across 1,265 acres (512 ha). As of 2012 the park houses around 1,500 wild species, including 46 endangered species, in its 160 enclosures. As of 2010, there were about 47 species of mammals, 63 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians, 28 species of fishes, and 10 species of insects in the park. The park, with an objective to be a repository of the state's fauna, is credited with being the second wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu after Mudumalai National Park.Aviary
An aviary is a large enclosure for confining birds. Unlike birdcages, aviaries allow birds a larger living space where they can fly; hence, aviaries are also sometimes known as flight cages. Aviaries often contain plants and shrubbery to simulate a natural environment.Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is a zoo located within Bronx Park in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. It is one of the largest zoos in the United States by area, comprising 265 acres (107 ha) of park lands and naturalistic habitats separated by the Bronx River. On average, the zoo has 2.15 million visitors each year.
The Bronx Zoo is world-renowned for its large and diverse animal collection, and its award-winning exhibitions. The zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and it is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).Central Park Zoo
The Central Park Zoo is a small 6.5-acre (2.6 ha) zoo located in Central Park in New York City. It is part of an integrated system of four zoos and the New York Aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The zoo began in the 1860s as a menagerie, thus making it the first official zoo to open in New York. The zoo was modified in 1934, with the addition of many new buildings ranged in a quadrangle around the sea lion pool. (The zoo from this era has been commonly known as the "1934 Zoo" or "Robert Moses Zoo".) The zoo was renovated in the mid-1980s and reopened in 1988, replacing cages with naturalistic environments.February 22
February 22 is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 312 days remaining until the end of the year (313 in leap years).Fetty Wap
Willie Maxwell II (born June 7, 1991), known professionally as Fetty Wap, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. He rose to prominence after his debut single "Trap Queen", reached number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 2015. This helped Fetty Wap secure a record deal with 300 Entertainment. He subsequently released two Top 10 singles in the U.S., "679" and "My Way". Fetty Wap's eponymously titled debut album was released in September 2015 and reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.Gerald Durrell
Gerald Malcolm Durrell, OBE (7 January 1925 – 30 January 1995) was a British naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author, and television presenter. He founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Jersey Zoo on the Channel Island of Jersey in 1959. He wrote a number of books based on his life as an animal collector and enthusiast, the most famous being My Family and Other Animals. He was the youngest brother of novelist Lawrence Durrell.Karen (orangutan)
Karen (born 11 June 1992) is a Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), who in 1994 at San Diego Zoo was the first orangutan to have open heart surgery.
Concerns for the endangered species of Sumatran orangutan at a time when routine open heart surgery was being performed in human babies, combined with a collaboration between San Diego Zoo and the UC San Diego Health, led to the planning of repairing the large hole in the heart in two-year-old Karen. The operation and after-care required the co-operation of more than 100 volunteers and the resulting procedure was successful and widely publicised. Karen became a favorite with zoo visitors, surviving more than 25 years.
Karen is the subject of a book by Georgeanne Irvine titled Karen’s Heart: The True Story of a Brave Baby Orangutan, published by Blue Sneaker Press in 2018.Killing of Harambe
On May 28, 2016, a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla. Fearing for the boy's life, a zoo worker shot and killed Harambe. The incident was recorded on video and received broad international coverage and commentary, including controversy over the choice to kill Harambe. A number of primatologists and conservationists wrote later that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that it highlighted the danger of zoo animals in close proximity to humans and the need for better standards of care.Komodo dragon
The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also known as the Komodo monitor, is a species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar. A member of the monitor lizard family Varanidae, it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to a maximum length of 3 metres (10 ft) in rare cases and weighing up to approximately 70 kilograms (150 lb).Their unusually large size has been attributed to island gigantism, since no other carnivorous animals fill the niche on the islands where they live. However, recent research suggests the large size of Komodo dragons may be better understood as representative of a relict population of very large varanid lizards that once lived across Indonesia and Australia, most of which, along with other megafauna, died out after the Pleistocene (as a result of human activity). Fossils very similar to V. komodoensis have been found in Australia dating to greater than 3.8 million years ago, and its body size remained stable on Flores, one of the handful of Indonesian islands where it is currently found, over the last 900,000 years, "a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, and the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka [kiloannums]."As a result of their size, these lizards dominate the ecosystems in which they live. Komodo dragons hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals. It has been claimed that they have a venomous bite; there are two glands in the lower jaw which secrete several toxic proteins. The biological significance of these proteins is disputed, but the glands have been shown to secrete an anticoagulant. Komodo dragons' group behaviour in hunting is exceptional in the reptile world. The diet of big Komodo dragons mainly consists of Timor deer, though they also eat considerable amounts of carrion. Komodo dragons also occasionally attack humans.Mating begins between May and August, and the eggs are laid in September. About 20 eggs are deposited in abandoned megapode nests or in a self-dug nesting hole. The eggs are incubated for seven to eight months, hatching in April, when insects are most plentiful. Young Komodo dragons are vulnerable and therefore dwell in trees, safe from predators and cannibalistic adults. They take 8 to 9 years to mature, and are estimated to live up to 30 years.Komodo dragons were first recorded by Western scientists in 1910. Their large size and fearsome reputation make them popular zoo exhibits. In the wild, their range has contracted due to human activities, and they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. They are protected under Indonesian law, and a national park, Komodo National Park, was founded to aid protection efforts.Liger
The liger is a hybrid offspring of a male lion (Panthera leo) and a female tiger (Panthera tigris). The liger has parents in the same genus but of different species. The liger is distinct from the similar hybrid tigon, and is the largest of all known extant felines. They enjoy swimming, which is a characteristic of tigers, and are very sociable like lions. Notably, ligers typically grow larger than either parent species, unlike tigons.London Zoo
London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. In 1831 or 1832, the animals of the Tower of London menagerie were transferred to the zoo's collection. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847. Today, it houses a collection of 673 species of animals, with 19,289 individuals, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom. The zoo is sometimes called Regent's Zoo.
It is managed under the aegis of the Zoological Society of London (established in 1826), and is situated at the northern edge of Regent's Park, on the boundary line between the City of Westminster and the borough of Camden (the Regent's Canal runs through it). The Society also has a more spacious site at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire to which the larger animals such as elephants and rhinos have been moved.
As well as being the first scientific zoo, ZSL London Zoo also opened the first Reptile house (1849), first public Aquarium (1853), first insect house (1881) and the first children's zoo (1938).
ZSL receives no state funding and relies on 'Fellows' and 'Friends' memberships, entrance fees and sponsorship to generate income.National Zoological Park (United States)
The National Zoological Park, commonly known as the National Zoo, is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution and does not charge for admission. Founded in 1889, its mission is to "provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats".The National Zoo has two campuses. The first is a 163-acre (66 ha) urban park located at Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington, D.C., 20 minutes from the National Mall by MetroRail. The other campus is the 3,200-acre (1,300 ha) Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI; formerly known as the Conservation and Research Center) in Front Royal, Virginia. On this land, there are 180 species of trees, 850 species of woody shrubs and herbaceous plants, 40 species of grasses, and 36 different species of bamboo. The SCBI is a non-public facility devoted to training wildlife professionals in conservation biology and to propagating rare species through natural means and assisted reproduction. The National Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The two facilities host about 1,800 animals of 300 different species. About one-fifth of them are endangered or threatened. Most species are on exhibit at the Rock Creek Park campus. The best-known residents are the giant pandas, but the zoo is also home to birds, great apes, big cats, Asian elephants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, aquatic animals, small mammals and many more. The SCBI facility houses between 30 and 40 endangered species at any given time depending on research needs and recommendations from the zoo and the conservation community. The zoo was one of the first to establish a scientific research program. Because it is a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Zoo receives federal appropriations for operating expenses. A new master plan for the park was introduced in 2008 to upgrade the park's exhibits and layout.
The National Zoo is open every day of the year except for December 25 (Christmas Day).Okapi
The okapi (; Okapia johnstoni), also known as the forest giraffe, congolese giraffe or zebra giraffe, is an artiodactyl mammal native to the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Although the okapi has striped markings reminiscent of zebras, it is most closely related to the giraffe. The okapi and the giraffe are the only living members of the family Giraffidae. The okapi stands about 1.5 m (4.9 ft) tall at the shoulder and has an average body length around 2.5 m (8.2 ft). Its weight ranges from 200 to 350 kg (440 to 770 lb). It has a long neck, and large, flexible ears. Its coat is a chocolate to reddish brown, much in contrast with the white horizontal stripes and rings on the legs and white ankles. Male okapis have short, hair-covered, horn-like protuberances on their heads called ossicones, less than 15 cm (5.9 in) in length. Females possess hair whorls, and ossicones are absent.
Okapis are primarily diurnal, but may be active for a few hours in darkness. They are essentially solitary, coming together only to breed. Okapis are herbivores, feeding on tree leaves and buds, grasses, ferns, fruits, and fungi. Rut in males and estrus in females does not depend on the season. In captivity, estrous cycles recur every 15 days. The gestational period is around 440 to 450 days long, following which usually a single calf is born. The juveniles are kept in hiding, and nursing takes place infrequently. Juveniles start taking solid food from three months, and weaning takes place at six months.
Okapis inhabit canopy forests at altitudes of 500–1,500 m (1,600–4,900 ft). They are endemic to the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where they occur across the central, northern, and eastern regions. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources classifies the okapi as endangered. Major threats include habitat loss due to logging and human settlement. Extensive hunting for bushmeat and skin and illegal mining have also led to a decline in populations. The Okapi Conservation Project was established in 1987 to protect okapi populations.Oregon Zoo
The Oregon Zoo, originally the Portland Zoo and later the Washington Park Zoo, is a zoo located in Washington Park, Portland, Oregon, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of downtown Portland. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi River.The 64-acre (26 ha) zoo is owned by the regional Metro government. It currently holds more than 1,800 animals of more than 230 species, including 19 endangered species and 9 threatened species. The zoo also boasts an extensive plant collection throughout its animal exhibits and specialized gardens. The zoo also operates and maintains the 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge Washington Park & Zoo Railway that previously connected to the International Rose Test Garden inside the park, but currently runs only within the zoo.
The Oregon Zoo is Oregon's largest paid and arguably most popular visitor attraction, with more than 1.6 million visitors in 2016. The zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is a zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, housing over more than 3,500 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies. Its parent organization, San Diego Zoo Global, is one of the largest zoological membership associations in the world, with more than 250,000 member households and 130,000 child memberships, representing more than a half million people. The San Diego Zoo was a pioneer in the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits that re-create natural animal habitats. It is one of the few zoos in the world that houses, and successfully breeds the giant panda. In 2013, the zoo added a new Australian Outback exhibit, providing an updated Australian animal experience. Another new exhibit, called Africa Rocks, opened in 2017.
It is privately moderated by the nonprofit San Diego Zoo Global on 100 acres (40 ha) of Balboa Park leased from the City of San Diego. The San Diego Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and a member of the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). San Diego Zoo Global also operates the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.Steve Irwin
Stephen Robert Irwin (22 February 1962 – 4 September 2006), nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter" was an Australian zookeeper, conservationist and television personality. Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter (1996–2007), an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series which he co-hosted with his wife Terri; the couple also hosted the series Croc Files (1999–2001), The Crocodile Hunter Diaries (2002–2006), and New Breed Vets (2005). They also owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by Irwin's parents in Beerwah, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of the Queensland state capital city of Brisbane.
Irwin died at 44, after being pierced in the heart by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary film titled Ocean's Deadliest.White tiger
The white tiger or bleached tiger is a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger, which is reported in the wild from time to time in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal and Bihar in the Sunderbans region and especially in the former State of Rewa. Such a tiger has the black stripes typical of the Bengal tiger, but carries a white or near-white coat.Zoological Society of London
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. It was founded in 1826.
Zoos, aquariums and aviaries
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