|Philadelphia Zoo Welcome Sign by Derek Ramsey via Wikipedia|
The key historical points for this conversation are:
- Zoos and aquariums have a long history with the first "zoos" being created around 3000 BC. Aquariums are newer with the London Zoo open the first public aquarium in 1853.
- Zoos started as Menageries for the sole purpose of displaying exotic animals for the pleasure of their guests.
- The primary purpose of most zoos throughout history was as a spectacle to show the wealth and power of the zoo's owner. Zoos were run and designed in a way to maximize the spectacle value with little thought put to the welfare of the animals or any educational or conservation outcomes.
- It is still fairly recent in the history of zoos that a lot of focus has been put on conservation and education. It wasn’t until the 1960s and later that zoos in the U.S. started to put a greater focus on conservation, ecology, and education as their primary mission. As a data point the Species Survival Plan (SSP) was established in 1981, just 30 years ago.
In this blog we'll be exploring many aspects of zoos and aquariums with the following goals in mind:
- Increasing conservation behavior.
- Increasing knowledge, appreciation, and the connection with the natural world.
- Increasing "profitability".
Hope you enjoy the blog and will join in the conversations.