A zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public and may also be bred. The term zoological garden refers to study of animal life; it derives from Greek zōon (ζῷον), meaning “animal” and lógos (λóγος), meaning “study.”
The zoo originated in 18th-century England when it was fashionable for rich patrons to keep menageries of exotic animals. They were usually kept at palaces or country houses (see e.g., Menagerie (house)). These were stroll zoos, which consisted mostly of cages or similar enclosures that visitors interacted with only from behind a rope barrier; these would often be managed by someone on behalf of the patron who owned all the zoo’s inhabitants.
The abbreviation ‘zoo’ was first used for London Zoo that opened its doors since 1828 with scientific research done on-site by scientists studying there until they open up their gates as well.
This zoo was known as the Zoological Society and moved to Regent’s Park, where it stayed until 1971.
Zoos are generally financially supported by their entrance fees and donations. Some zoo sites have also added a fee for using an ATM on-site, although this is highly discouraged as more often than not, zoos run solely on public support due to Government funding being at an all-time low
The word ‘zoo’ can mean slightly different things to different people: Zoo – any place with exotic animals (and aquatic life) that is open to the public for recreation or education, e.g., zoo, aquarium, safari park; Wildlife park – a zoo or garden where native or tame animals may be seen in their natural habitats. Aquarium – an aquarium is a wet-pond or vivarium of any size having at least one transparent side in which water-breathing plants or animals are kept and displayed; In zoo exhibits, aquatic life may also be kept in tanks.
For example, San Diego zoo has a zoo, aquarium, and an aviary where birds are kept while Wetlands and wild animal parks such as Lion Country Safari in Florida have only nonhuman animals (referred to as “safari”) living among recreated natural environments: zoo is the term mainly used for more extensive facilities that display a relatively wide range of species, although some zoos specialize in specific groups or include other attractions such as amusement rides; the zoo is the most common term in North America, while the zoo is used more often in Europe and Australia.
Captive animals may be collected from the wild, bred under controlled conditions, or spontaneously produced by zoo-breeding programs (a form of artificial selection). They are also sometimes stolen from the wild or bred illegally (see Bushmeat), particularly for sale on black markets to private collectors. About 1,800 zookeepers are killed annually around the world, some due to animal attacks.
A zoo can be divided into sections with different characteristics and purposes: Aquarium – exhibits aquatic life only; aviary – typically birds only; savanna/open range – pasture for grazing animals such as antelope or zebra; Cat zoo – exhibits a range of small cats such as bobcats, cougars, and lynxes; Butterfly zoo – specially designed butterflies in an enclosure; Children zoo – zoo specifically for children.
Some zoos are also aquariums (or vice versa), but not all aquariums are zoos. The relationship between a zoo and an aquarium is similar to the relationship between an art museum and a gallery: both promote learning about wildlife and biodiversity by displaying captive animals to the public behind glass walls. Zoos generally charge admission, much like cinemas, while galleries usually do not. Both attract people from around their viewing areas mainly due to publicity in local newspapers which will commonly feature reviews of their newest attractions or calendar events, e.g., Waterford zoo and Bristol.
Some zoos exercise rigorous control over their charges’ diets because the animals in their care are on exhibit for the public. The zoo in Chemnitz, Germany has gone so far as to publish a cookbook for its carnivores because too much meat can lead to obesity and diabetes.
Generally, zoo exhibits use fences of some sort to separate animals from curious onlookers; larger zoo exhibits may replicate natural features such as streams or hills and add moats or other barriers to keep the visitors out of animal enclosures. In keeping with the zoo’s mission, these exhibits strive to maintain an artificial nature. Animals are typically placed under zoo exhibits that closely resemble their native habitats, but have been modified slightly for safety reasons, allowing them more room than they would have in the wild (such as giving gorillas a choice between a shaded or sunny area to rest).
In zoo exhibits, aquatic animals are often housed in tanks. In the simplest and oldest zoo exhibits, pools may be used instead of enclosures, such as the 1859 “Pool of London” exhibit at London Zoo. Modern zoo exhibits are more likely to use artificial structures that resemble natural rock formations and vegetation for their layout. Some zoo exhibits utilize moats that resemble natural bodies of water; others completely surround their specimens in fences supplemented with glass barriers similar to aquariums.
Zoo animal enclosures include tall bars or concrete walls to allow zoo visitors a closeup view while keeping the animals safely contained within suitable viewing places. The design sets up an implied dichotomy between those animals confined and those outside. Other exhibits of zoo animals include natural-looking habitats, such as a hollow log or rocky cave with smaller openings to allow access.