Many people ask me, “why zoos?” And my response is always the same, I’m passionate about zoos because I love animals. Thanks to the help of zoos many species have been saved from extinction and brought back to sustainable numbers and released back into the wild, like the black footed ferret, the California condor and the golden-lion tamarin. Another reason I believe so strongly in the importance of zoos is because many people will never get the chance to see these amazing animals in the wild, but they can in zoos. Seeing these animals in zoos, having an opportunity to connect with them and learn about them helps promote a desire to save their wild cousins.
Happy Zoo Lover’s Day!
Today, April 8th, I celebrate Zoo Lover’s Day, a day to visit your local zoo, reminisce about memories made at the zoo and give thanks to all the hard and dedicated work they do to help save Earth’s amazing wildlife.
*An estimated over 600,000,000 people visit zoos each year
*There are more than 2,800 zoos and aquariums in the world
*Germany has more zoos than any other country – over 400
*With over 1,500 species, Germany’s Berlin Zoo has the largest variety of animals in any zoo in the world
*The USA has over 200 AZA accredited zoos
*Over 30 USA zoos have more than 1,000,000 visitors a year
*Disney’s Animal Kingdom has the most with 9,500,000 visitors each year
*The largest zoo in the USA is Red McCombs Wildlife – with over 12,500 acres
*Philadelphia Zoo is the oldest zoo in the USA – opening on July 1st, 1874
*The oldest running zoo in the world is Vienna Zoo in Schonbrunn – founded in 1752
I get ask all the time what is my favourite zoo. And I tell them that’s like asking what my favourite animal is! The truth is I have a few favourite zoos; London Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo and of course my hometown Toronto Zoo will always have a special place in my heart.