Visit the Zoo Day in The Villages FL

Visit the Zoo Day in The Villages FL

Visit the Zoo Day is celebrated on December 27th each year.

Although the origins of the day are unclear, we do know that the idea of the zoo stretches as far back as a couple of millennia.

The word ‘zoo’ is, in fact, the shortest way to refer to a zoological park or garden. Zoos are typically home to a range of species and function as protective shelters for the animals housed within them.

HISTORY OF VISIT THE ZOO DAY

An early form of the zoo or zoological garden was called a ‘menagerie’. It is said to have been much smaller than the more modern zoo. The first iterations of zoos were private collections and acted as a show of power. Excavators discovered remnants of a menagerie in Egypt, which they believe dates back to around 3500 B.C. Famous kings such as Alexander the Great of Greece, King Solomon of Israel, and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia were known animal collectors from their respective times. Evidence of such zoos or collections of animals has also been found in places like China and Rome.

The first ‘modern’ zoo was built in 1793 in Paris, France. This idea of the modern and public zoo appears to have become popular in the 18th century, during the Age of Enlightenment, when science became more of a central pillar to society. Individuals wished to study animals, to better understand their anatomy and behavior, among other things. The city of London also saw its first modern zoo being opened in 1828. Animals from the Tower of London menagerie were added to its collection in due course, with the zoo eventually opening to the public in 1847.

The focus of early modern zoos was not on functioning as natural habitats for the species housed in them. Instead, they were more like museums of living animals kept in small display areas. Zoos today work towards educating and entertaining members of the public, while also furthering scientific research and promoting the conservation of species.

HOW TO CELEBRATE VISIT THE ZOO DAY

  • Locate your local zoo
    Get on the internet and search for your local zoo. Be sure to find the name of the organization that runs it and learn more about the safety measures they have in place for your and the animals’ benefit.
  • Visit the zoo
    Make the most of the holidays and visit the nearest zoo with your family. Spend a day appreciating the beautiful creatures that call the zoo home.
  • Raise awareness
    Zoos are in constant need of support, financial and otherwise. Encourage your friends and family to visit the zoo and help support the animals near you.

5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ZOOS

  1. Zoos were not always public attractions
    Early collectors of animals used menageries as shows of power and even traveled far and wide to bring back exotic animals.
  2. The Aztecs maintained an animal collection
    Emperor Montezuma II maintained one of the earliest collections of animals in the whole of the western hemisphere.
  3. The largest zoo in the world
    India’s Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park is the world’s largest zoo.
  4. Africa’s Big Five
    Lions, rhinoceroses, leopards, elephants, and the African buffalo are considered to be Africa’s Big Five and can be found together at a zoo at the Gondwana Game Reserve in South Africa.
  5. London Zoo and Winnie the Pooh
    A.A. Milne named Winnie after his son’s teddy bear, which was itself named after a Canadian black bear that Milne’s son often saw at London Zoo.

WHY WE LOVE VISIT THE ZOO DAY

  • It highlights the importance of animal conservation
    This day reminds us of how vulnerable animals are to the harmful effects of human development. It is important to be mindful and inclusive of animal life at all times.
  • We get to reconnect with animals
    With time, humans have seen the divide between themselves and the wildlife growing. This is an important day to reconnect with nature.
  • We learn about animals and their habitats
    We all read about animals and their habitats in class. But seeing and observing them in real life is perhaps the right way to cap off all those lessons.

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