Perhaps the greatest service a zoo offers to the community is education. Most zoos have programs that teach basic zoology, animal behavior, geography, and natural history. The classroom setting sometimes involves safaris, campouts, scavenger hunts, and participation in animal care. Usually students have the opportunity to observe, interact with, and often touch exotic mammals about which they are learning. Another unique educational and emotional experience is outreach programs that target audiences unable to physically visit the zoo. Examples include the transport of education animals and staff to audiences in nursing homes or hospitals. Increasingly important are programs teaching responsible use of habitat and conservation of natural resources. These programs often target younger audiences, in an effort to sustain the long-term quality of life for all life forms.

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