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"Why visit zoos? It's not just a walk in the park."


"Why visit zoos? It's not just a walk in the park."

More than 700 million visitors globally attend animal parks and aquariums each year, have you asked why?

Zoos and aquariums are known to be some of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. It's not just a fun outing with family or friends, or just children seeing real animals.

Although the value of zoos in nature conservation and in supporting applied animal science is well understood, a new study said that these parks also play an important role in how society thinks and cares about nature, which has never been widely known.

The study, published in Journal of Zoological and Botanical Sciences, on 13 January last, involved researchers from British and French universities and Dublin Zoo, and found that zoos are a unique platform for engaging visitors with important messages that contribute to human health.

"Why visit zoos? It's not just a walk in the park."

The community value of modern zoos

Researchers studied the societal value of modern zoos, how they can positively affect populations locally and globally, and analyzed the presence of online garden sites, publications they produce, activities they support, and their impact on the receivers of these messages.

In part of the study, the researchers conducted an in-depth review of the work of zoos, especially with regard to how their four main objectives: nature conservation, education, recreation and research were achieved, and explained how each goal had "added value" in representing the benefits of zoos to society.

The study recommended that many areas of future scientific research be activated to further examine the broader impact of zoos on their communities and on the population's behaviour in particular.

The researchers considered that including well-being as a fifth goal of the modern zoo would also enhance its wider societal value, and said that integrating this type of park by classifying it as a resource for human health, educating visitors about biodiversity, the planet's health, human well-being and sustainable life would enhance its role in human societies.

Study conclusions

Dr. Paul Rose, a lecturer at the Center for Research in Animal Behaviour and Psychology at the University of Exeter (University of Exeter), said in a university press release that "the zoo is more than a place for entertainment and a group of animals. Zoos allow us to experience nature and are a great resource for understanding more about conservation, biodiversity and sustainability, bringing many positive benefits to human mental health and well-being. "

He added that protection places, such as zoos, were needed to provide us with education and understanding about the natural world, noting that "in order to learn, the objectives of zoos need to integrate the goal of increased community participation."

Thus, the zoo's modern work can directly affect visitors and those who live near it and participate in its work and output.

The researchers concluded that the integration of zoos between human health resources and education will further enhance their societal role, stressing that there is a need to identify their socio-economic benefits, their role in development and positive participation.

"Why visit zoos? It's not just a walk in the park."

Questions to explore

The study found that zoos and aquatic parks can be excellent places to develop nature-based solutions, and found that visitors can be encouraged to increase their awareness of nature's value and explore the current and potential links of these places to biodiversity. The sustainability of the zoo is essential to enhancing its achievements in changing human environmentally friendly behaviour in the long term.

But the study found that there was still more work to be done, and many questions to be explored by scientists and zoo staff, as well as assessing the impact of the educational messages of these parks, and whether they would affect human behavior towards the planet's health and sustainability.


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