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The Zoo of You

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Lisa Tenzin-Dolma is an animal psychologist and says some zoos can contribute to education and conservation but believed they would be happier in the wild. “Wild animals should be allowed to live out their lives in their natural environment. It’s sad to see any wild creature behind bars or in a tank, whether this is ostensibly for education or entertainment.” Many animals act out strange behaviour in zoos, for example wild cats will often pace up and down for hours, zoos often just dismiss this behaviour because it is almost feeding time, but Lisa believes it is a sign of them being uncomfortable in their surroundings. “The behaviour and demeanour of many animals in zoos are clear indicators of high stress levels.”

The majestic Leanne Roberts African Region and the Valentine Family Savanna offer a multi-species landscape with giraffes, zebras, kudu, ostriches, storks, and more. At Hearst Grizzly Gulch, visitors can get nose-to-nose with rescued grizzly sisters Kachina and Kiona. Lemurs leap through the Lipman Lemur Forest, the largest outdoor lemur habitat in the country. Penguin Island is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins outside of the wild. The Zoo’s troop of gorillas lives in the lush Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Farm animals for feeding and petting can be found in the popular Fisher Family Children’s Zoo. The historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel and the 1904 miniature Little Puffer Steam Train are treasured by generations of visitors. And the $3.2 million Elinor Friend Playground re-opened to the public in fall 2013. The SF Zoo offers a rich history for its guests, including fun rides, educational programs and exciting events for children of all ages. The SF Zoo is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Things to Do in Norfolk: The Virginia Zoo

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Columbus Zoo and Aquarium - Home

Another key role zoos often boast about is their assistance in the education of animals, but how do people really learn? Exmoor zoo prides itself on being a more personal friendly and contact orientated zoo. Stephen Eddy the education officer says Exmoor zoo has a strong education team and they conduct outreach session to schools, colleges and nursing homes. “We have a series of daily talks and this gives visitors a chance to see and learn about animals and conservation issues up close the talks are interactive and visitors get the chance to touch and feed the animals.”

If your idea of a zoo is a place where animals are trapped behind bars for the pleasure of spectators, think again. There are some fantastic zoos around the world with cutting-edge animal enclosures focused on conservation, preservation and showcasing animals in a more natural environment. So if you’re or just want to connect with nature, don’t let the bad rap zoos often get put you off visiting these zoos. Here are some that we think are worth visiting.