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Zoos. Animals in Society G. Robert Weedon, DVM, MPH. “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” Baba Dioum. Zoos. More than 134 Million people visit zoos in the US and Canada every year

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Animals in Society

G. Robert Weedon, DVM, MPH

HON 120/BIO 485


“In the end we will conserve

only what we love,

we will love only

what we understand,

and we will understand

only what we are taught.”

Baba Dioum

HON 120/BIO 485

  • More than 134 Million people visit zoos in the US and Canada every year
  • The AZA accredits 214 zoos and aquariums in the US and Canada

HON 120/BIO 485

  • What is the AZA?
  • AZA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation

HON 120/BIO 485

  • What purpose do zoos serve?
  • Most people cite two main purposes:
  • Education
  • Entertainment

HON 120/BIO 485

  • Taxonomy (birds, reptiles, mammals, etc)
  • Biomes showcase the shared characteristics of a group of inhabitants

HON 120/BIO 485

  • One of the most important new concepts is to carefully reproduce the animals’ natural habitat as closely as possible
  • Even exhibits with bars are homes for animals
  • Today’s zoos and aquariums are eliminating older facilities and developing modern ones

HON 120/BIO 485

  • Zoos are fun!
  • Even though they have serious responsibilities in today’s world, by the very nature of their being, they provide enjoyment and a unique experience for people of all ages

HON 120/BIO 485

  • Critics say that zoo visitors only spend a few minutes at each display, seeking entertainment rather than enlightenment

HON 120/BIO 485

  • Imparting a sense of responsibility to be stewards of the planet
  • Each display has information on the inhabitants of that display

HON 120/BIO 485

  • Animals are a universal language and appeal to people throughout the world
  • Zoos allow people to experience animals firsthand as fascinating, wonderful creatures—alive and meaningful
  • People can read about animals, or see them in films, but nothing replaces the living breathing creature

HON 120/BIO 485

  • Zoos contribute a significant amount of information through their commitment to the conservation and care of wildlife through a number of ongoing research projects

HON 120/BIO 485

  • Zoos and aquariums have pioneered breeding programs for many endangered species:
  • Asiatic Wild Horse
  • Pere David’s Deer
  • Hawaiian Goose

Would all be extinct today if there were no captive breeding programs

HON 120/BIO 485


If I asked you to name an organization committed to wildlife conservation, what would you say?

HON 120/BIO 485

  • No zoo, aquarium or botanical garden is an alternative to native habitats; however, these institutions have become the last refuge for some plants and animals

HON 120/BIO 485

  • Up until 1800 one mammalian species vanished every 55 years
  • From1800 through 1900, one mammalian species vanished each 18 months
  • From 1900 until today, one mammalian species vanished each 12 months

HON 120/BIO 485

roadside zoos
Roadside Zoos
  • PeTA refers to zoos as “Pitiful Prisons”
  • Small roadside “zoos” fall far short of providing even the basic necessities of life to the animals in their collection

HON 120/BIO 485

  • Abnormal, self-destructive behavior
  • Results from close confinement, lack of privacy, and little opportunity for mental stimulation or physical exercise
  • Repeated head bobbing, biting cage bars, and pacing, as well as self-destructive behavior such as self-mutilation

HON 120/BIO 485

saturday schedule
Saturday Schedule
  • Meet in Lot T across Reynolds Dr. from Dobo
  • We will depart promptly at 7:00 AM
  • Arrive at Zoo around 11:00 AM
  • Tour Zoo Hospital and Rehab Center
  • Tour the Zoo—Lunch while there
  • Depart at 5:00 PM
  • Quick dinner stop on return trip
  • Back to Campus by 10:00 PM

HON 120/BIO 485

next week
Next Week
  • Next week enjoy your Easter Break!
  • March 20th we will discuss animals in agriculture

HON 120/BIO 485


Class dinner Thursday March 27

Buffalo Wild Wings

Friends of Felines Spay-A-Thon

HON 120/BIO 485

this weeks words of wisdom
This weeks Words of Wisdom

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. 


It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry. 

Joe Moore

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.

Harriet Beraiker

HON 120/BIO 485