ZOOtastic Information About Zoos


Peyton Chanley, Contributor

Have you ever had that feeling when you’re so excited you could just scream? I’ve had that feeling more than enough times, especially when I learn we’re going to the zoo. To me the zoo is a magical place, full of excitement and wonders. Not only are zoos fun but they also help save animals from extinction. Betty White once said, “People forget the good that zoo’s do. If it weren’t for zoos, we would have so many species that would be extinct today.” I’m sure almost everyone has been to the zoo but by reading this story you’ll know a little bit more about zoos.
Although people have kept animals in captivity for hundreds of years, those collections were not considered zoos. The first zoos were created as private collections by the wealthy to show their power. The first ones were called menageries. Wall carvings were found in Egypt, and in Mesopotamia is evidence that some rulers created menageries as early as 2500 BCE. They left records of travels to different places to bring back exotic and unique creatures. There is evidence that the owners hired animals handlers to make sure they flourish and reproduce. Later zoos became public instead of private collections. The first modern zoo opened in 1793 in Paris, France. In fact the facility is still a busy and well known zoo in downtown Paris. Back then animals were kept in small displayed areas instead of in recreated habitats.

In 1898, New York City gave 250 acres of Bronx park to the New York Zoological Society to build a park aimed at preserving native animals and promoting zoology. The zoo later opened in 1899. And expanded over time. The Bronx Zoo is one of the biggest Zoos in America. About 2.15 million people visit it every year. It actually has a drama tv show about the zoo. Here is a link for the show, https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/the-zoo/.

There is even zoos for water animals, called aquariums. One of the most popular aquariums is the Shedd Aquarium. Every single year the Shedd Aquarium welcomes at least 2 million guests to see all kinds of sea life. It was the most visited aquarium in 2005 and in 2007.The Shedd Aquarium holds at least 5 million U.S. gallons. Today the aquarium holds over 32,000 sea animals. It also holds 1,200 different kinds of species including fish, birds, marine animals, snakes, amphibians and insects. The Shedd Aquarium was one of the first inland aquariums with a permanent saltwater fish collection. The aquarium also has an outdoor stingray touch exhibit. It’s a shallow 78 degree pool, where people can reach their hands in and touch the stingrays. It is a very fun and unique experience.
Zoos have been around for thousands of years. Some with sea animals, some with nearly extinct animals. Zoos are a wonderful place to visit. The Bronx zoo, and the Shedd zoo being two of the biggest zoos in the U.S.A, are good places to go to. I hope you enjoyed reading about zoos. And if you’d like to learn more about zoos go to this website, https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/zoo/.