Zoo Lovers Day is a great excuse to get your family together and go for a trip to see animals strange and exotic. Where else can you witness prowling pumas, delight in hilarious howler monkeys, and commune with a California condor?
The word “zoo” is actually short for Zoological Garden, and is mostly used to refer to our modern concept of a zoo. Prior to this the term “menagerie” was used, coming from a long history reaching back all the way to the ancient world. The oldest collection of this sort was found during an archeological dig in Egypt. Remains suggest an impressive array including hippos, elephants, baboons, and wildcats.
Zoos began as a demonstration of power and wealth amongst royalty. In modern times, they are often the last hope for the world’s endangered or threatened species. Zoological staffs work day and night to keep them in comfort and health; the hope is that they could potentially live safely in the wild again!
Did you know…
The Vienna Zoo is the oldest existing zoo and was opened to the public in 1765.
The United State’s first public zoo, Central Park Zoo, opened in 1874 in New York.
There are 350 zoos in the United States
Approximately 175 million people visit a zoo each year.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has had more than 9.8 million annual visitors.
More than 3.2 million people visit the San Diego Zoo each year.
Facts provided by kidskonnect.com
There’s so many great ways to celebrate. You could sign up to volunteer at your local zoo, taking in exotic animals and experiencing their lives…first-hand. You could take a tour; picnic near the giraffes or the aviary. Or if you’d like to make a difference, you could organize a fund-raiser to help support your local zoo. Many visitors and residents don’t realize that most zoos are non-profit. Rather, the local zoo is viewed as a for-profit family entertainment venue, similar to the movie theater, or a minor league baseball team. You can spread the word and assist with some much-needed funding.
So on April 8th, patronize your local menagerie with your own menagerie. It’s a perfect day to visit a zoo and be one of the millions of people who visit them each year. Enjoy seeing your favorite animals swinging from the trees or splashing in the water. Take the time to appreciate the miraculous variety of life that inhabits our planet. Even with all the exploration and discoveries humans have made throughout the years, there are still places left to be discovered in the deepest oceans and the darkest jungles. Have fun!!