Why do we keep mammals in zoos

Zoos have been popular for centuries and this trend continues today. In an urban setting, a zoological park offers a rare opportunity for visitors to view and learn about exotic mammals. This is the only type of opportunity many people have in their lifetime to see living specimens in person. Many of these mammals would be difficult and costly to see in the wild.

The goals of many zoos are the same. Usually they involve entertainment and education for the community they serve. Conservation and scientific research have also become major concerns for modern zoological parks. In an annual survey, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association reported that almost 135 million people visited 194 member facilities in 2001. By comparison, this attendance is greater than all professional sporting events combined in the United States for 2001.

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