The necessity of Zoos for Education
Zoos can be defined as establishments that keep wild animals for preservation, public display and study (Fa, Funk, & O'Connell, 2011, p. 83). Their role in education can never be underestimated. They have evolved to prioritize research and education making it possible for students to learn about the environment more practically and effectively.
Although many think that zoos only serve the sole purpose of entertainment, this argument does not hold. On the contrary, even if they were only meant for entertainment, some educational elements would still be realized. When learners get the opportunity to interact with zoos, they are not only relaxed but also learn a lot from this peaceful and happy state of mind that comes with it. Besides, zoos give the learners the ideal opportunity to experience the animals practically, thereby, utilizing much of the knowledge learned from books and classroom (Frost, 2010, p. 216). It is perhaps the most ideal avenue of converting the theory to practical. People learn more from what they see than what they hear or read.
According to Fa, Funk and OConnell (2011), researchers want to know about the environment more, and how best to make it a better place (p. 96). An understanding of the interaction between animals is one way of realizing this goal. Zoos provide a suitable opportunity for them to carry out the study with a lot of ease. Historians find it not only easy but also very interesting to study using zoos. They provide much information on the evolution of the animals and their environment. Knowing where the animals have come from helps to predict where they are headed. As such laws have been established to protect them and guarantee their welfare. In addition, Frost stated, establishment of zoos has prevented the endangered species from going into extinction (p. 226); thereby, guaranteeing their availability for study in the generations to come.
Drawing a conclusion that zoos are necessary for education can never be misplaced. Animal study is not possible when these animals are not available in the first place. A scientist needs a laboratory to study. Zoos are an ideal laboratory for those who study animal science. In education, therefore, zoos are not just important but indeed very necessary.
- Fa, J., Funk, S., & O'Connell, D. (2011). Zoo Conservation Biology. Cambridge: Cambridge
- University Press.
- Frost, W. (2010). Zoos and Tourism: Conservation, Education, Entertainment (Vol. 46).
- Bristol: Channel View Publications.