Zoo gardens

However, it is important to remember that most zoos however started with a single point agenda; and that has been entertainment of the public primarily. The display of animals in the age old conventional or traditional zoos have been guided by the notion of capturing the interest of the public, to provide visiting families with an opportunity to have an enjoyable or memorable day out with their kids watching spectacular wildlife outside the confines of their homes without having the trouble to visit natural ecosystems or forests in far off lands and continents.

Zoo management has been at its infancy with very little or almost no proper care for the animals housed in congested and over crowded cages. Appropriate veterinary diagnostics and treatments as well as modern vet medications were not available for the inmates. Many precious animals, birds and reptiles died during transportation and due to lack of suitable care, proper diet and nutrition or any facilities for modern animal care. Furthermore, unhygienic condition of the cages, cross contamination, injury and diseases also took a number of animal lives in the traditional zoos of the past.

But out of this chaos and confusion, modern zoo gardens got their basic foundation laid and established over few centuries to transform into world class public zoos from their initial humble beginning as private zoos for the aristocrats. Today, modern zoos around the world have evolved into different specialized forms such as zoological parks or gardens, fresh water and marine aquariums, eco parks, animal theme parks, vivarium, reptile houses, snake parks, animal laboratories for study of animal physiology and animal behavior, aviaries, animal nurseries and hatcheries, nature interpretation centers, animal rescue and rehabilitation centers, butterfly gardens, insect gardens, open air zoo, captive breeding centers, animal education and interpretation centers to mention only a handful.

The zoos and aquariums around the world are now governed by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling, West Bengal is a member of WAZA. Otherwise, nodal central administrative units in individual country like the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in India manage the zoo at the national level; following stringent international guidelines, protocol and procedures for zoos across the country. Zoo management has reached a new height now across the globe with respect to the management of zoo animals like housing them in artificial natural habitat like enclosures, better treatment for animals under captivity, zoo based breeding, modern veterinary treatment for sick or injured animals, catering to animal specific diet and nutrition, paying special attention to research on zoo animal physiology and behavior; and attempting to make zoo as an effective and efficient tool for public education and awareness rather than simple entertainment as in the past.

Zoos around the planet have now developed more into education and interpretation centers for wildlife, human-animal interaction platform; and for showcasing the spectacular global biodiversity. Zoos have travelled a long distance from the traditional agenda as showbiz into nature-based education hub for the public to explore and educate themselves about nature, wildlife and biodiversity; and the value of natural world in our social and economic life. Such institutions and organizations have big funding with support from the government and public to conduct captive breeding for many endangered species to be able to replenish the natural ecosystems which they represent. The evolution of modern zoos from their traditional humble beginning is an inspirational story in itself. They have slowly undergone transformation from exhibitionism into knowledge centers with high focus on conservation.