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Animals and Academia: Educational Benefits of Going to a Zoo

dinoc December 16, 2019

Reading a book or watching a nature documentary is a great way to learn about the world around us, but nothing quite compares to the thrill of seeing an exotic animal standing just feet away from you. Not only does a trip to the zoo offer an exhilarating way to view your favorite animals in person, but it’s also a great way to learn more about zoology, biodiversity, and conservation. Zoos evolved many times throughout history. Modern zoos place a strong importance on education and wildlife preservation. Below are just a few of the many educational benefits of going to a zoo and how doing so can improve your understanding and reverence for the world around you.

Promotes environmental awareness

Zoos play a large part in wildlife preservation, and visiting a zoo means you can join in the fight for conservation. Many zoos around the world are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, an organization dedicated to providing the highest standards of safety, education, and animal care. Zoos accredited by this organization also dedicate a large amount of their profits to support conservation efforts and scientific research. Visiting a zoo will provide you with a deeper insight into the global fight for wildlife conservation, and it will provide you with information and resources that enable you to join the fight as well.

Provides hands-on learning opportunities

One of the most impressive educational benefits of going to a zoo is the way it can make learning come alive. Many zoos offer interactive exhibits and experiences that allow visitors to partake in more hands-on learning. Some zoos even have exhibits designed especially for children. These exhibits engage all five senses, and they often allow children to interact with more docile animals such as rabbits, birds, and reptiles. Many zoos also provide special education programs. At the Audubon Nature Institute, for example, visitors can embark on an overnight camping trip at the zoo. This program teaches children about nocturnal animals and allows them to see their favorite animals in a new light. For more information about this educational program or to purchase Audubon Zoo tickets, click here.

Advances academic knowledge

For individuals interested in biology, zoology, and ecology, a trip to the zoo is just what the doctor ordered. The zoo can help advance your academic knowledge in such studies, and it can provide real-world applications to the information you only read about in books. Most zoos station plaques alongside each exhibit that note the scientific classification of the animals, information about their natural habitat, and interesting factoids. Some zoos also offer free chats with zookeepers where you can learn more about the animals housed at the zoo from an expert in the subject.