National Zoo and Aquarium Month is June! Zoos and aquariums may have their issues, but at the end of the day, they serve more than a few crucial purposes. A local vet lists some of them below.
Protecting Endangered Species
The California Condor is one of the most striking success stories here. These birds came perilously close to extinction: by 1985, there were only nine left in the wild. A massive recovery effort was launched, with several animal protection agencies and zoos participating. They bred and hand raised young condors, which were then released into the wild. Today, there are now over 400 wild condors.
Zoos are also essential for conservation efforts. There are now a whopping species listed as endangered, with more on the list as threatened. Zoo-goers can see these animals face-to-face. That can really do a lot in terms of raising awareness and getting people onboard with promoting not only conservation, but good animal welfare.
Zoos and aquariums also often rehabilitate injured animals, and then place them back into the wild. They often work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in this area.
The way zoos help raise awareness, not only about the animals themselves, but also about the many issues wild animals are facing, is one of the best things about zoos. Loss of pollution, habitat, invasive species, and climate change can all have a devastating impact on delicate ecosystems and the wildlife they support.
Last but certainly not least, zoos and aquariums offer a really special and rare opportunity to interact and see animals one would rarely, if ever, encounter in the wild. This can be particularly beneficial for children. Taking your kids to the zoo is also a great time to talk to them about our animal companions, why it’s important to be kind to them.
Choosing A Zoo
As with any other industries, zoos vary widely in terms of their aims and ethics. There are some truly wonderful ones out there, which are strongly committed to their residents. Unfortunately, there are also some that are less interested in protection and more interested in profits. Your best bet is to stick with ones that have been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
As your animal clinic, we’re here to help. Call us anytime!