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Animal と Education がテーマのオージー娘が綴るつれづれ日記。

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Zoo, zoo, zoo

Visiting zoos in different places is one of my hobbies. I’ve been to many zoos since I started studying in the vet course 5 years ago, both inside and outside my country. I had always wanted to write articles about each zoo after visiting, but because there are so many things that I wanted to write about, so I could not start writing.
Then in this holiday I spend a lot of time in zoos while visiting Singapore and Malaysia, and I came to an idea of how I should starting writing about them. So one by one, I’m going to write about each zoo I’ve visited from several points of views, introducing some of the popular or unique animals in the zoo.

As an introduction, this article is going to explain what a zoo is, and why I want to work in a zoo.

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What is a zoo?
A zoo is an establishment where wild animals are kept or displayed to the public for the 4 purposes below:
-study
-conservation
-education
-entertainment

Let’s focus on each of the 4 purposes.

Entertainment
Generally, for most people, a zoo may be a place to have fun, by discovering things about animals, watching animal shows, taking photo with animals or ride on them. Because zoos are fun, people want to visit and give out money to maintain them. Also because it is fun, people learn things from animals in a good way, and the things they learn stays well with a fun memory.
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Not only entertainment but also the other purposes are very important roles of zoos.

Study
The data and samples taken from zoo animals are playing a very important role in various science fields of studies such as zoology, veterinary medicine, wildlife management, or even human studies.

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Conservation
Also zoos are the second habitat for many animal species, because zoos can provide a safe environment for animals guaranteeing them to protect from outside threat and starvation. Although it is often not the best place for animals to live in, in a long term, zoos are saving the species for sure. Also many zoos are supporting wildlife conservation project at the field too.

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Bengal tiger


Education
And what is more, if the visitors learn about the animals from zoos, they are helping people to understand more about the animals, indirectly contributing to their welfare by means of education.

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All these roles are related to each other: through the entertainment visitors learn about animals, and the zoos can make money. With the money they make and the data collected by animals, they work on wildlife conservation. And all these things are fed back to visitors again to learn and enjoy more.



Zoos for me
I consider a zoo as an ideal place to educate people through animals. I believe that sometimes animals can be better teachers than human with their unique attractions. What I want to do for my future job is to convey important messages to many people about the matters that we all human beings have to consider about, such as environmental issues, global warming, living together with wildlife around us, and what it means to live as a human. If I want to tell messages about these things, would people listen to me in the classroom or on the media? No, they are sick of these kind of messages. But if there are animals in front of them, and if I tell the message as if it were from the animals, they would listen more seriously.
As an educator in the future, I am dreaming to work in a zoo as my classroom, before I start working in a real classroom.


From next article, I will write about each zoo I’ve visited, in several perspectives. I will especially view them from the perspective of education.
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