Do you even care? Do you still have your youthful passion when you just knew you had to help or has the world changed your views as you get older? Zoos care, we act, we share and try and provide a way forward that benefits everybody and every living animal in the world – not just you and me!
A famous quote by Baba Dioum sums this up for me perfectly: “In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught”.
How do you get educated in a zoo- you would be surprised? Read a sign, talk about the animal on exhibit, marvel at the uniqueness of a species (just like Darwin), understand why the animal is possibly becoming extinct, understand the welfare and physiological requirements of the animal you are looking at, argue if we are keeping the animal properly. Become amazed at the interdependence of the web of life and how just taking an interest in just one species could possibly save a habitat and everything that lives within that! So, you love lemurs they are cute, interactive and cuddly – how could anybody eat them, why are there so few and suddenly you are aware and could help?
Probably the most important aim of a modern zoo today is to introduce people back to the basics of nature and remind everybody that the world we live is shared with all these beautiful, special and strange species that we share the world with! Television does this in your home but it is surreal – it is the visit to the zoo or the walk in the park that reconnects people with their roots in nature.
The mission statement of Exmoor zoo; “Conservation through education and preservation” should tell any visitor today a little bit about what we are hoping to achieve.
The ark - preservation!
Go on holiday fly to Borneo and see the effect we have on the world. Use your hydrocarbon share on the aircraft and just look at the native rainforest as you fly over the land when you enter Kuala Lumpur air space. All you will see out of the aircraft windows are plantation after plantation of different sized equally spaced oil palm trees! The world’s most diverse habitat reduced to monoculture simply so that businessmen often not even indigenous to Malaysia can make some money out of supplying you with palm oil for your modern commodities! Oh, then wonder why so many orang-utangs are in wildlife rehabilitation centres and can never go back the wild such as in Sepilok or even a zoo!
A zoo today has got to fulfil the essential role of a living ark. Career professionals give their lifetime to ensuring that species are maintained and protected. Today zoos have evolved and this is now done globally through managed breeding populations. Internationally all zoos and institutions co-operating for the wellbeing of the animals in their care. If this does not make you aware of why zoos should exist, then just consider the message we have given.
There is a very old saying – “united we stand, united we fall”. That is so true of conservation. Just the basic truth that rainforests are the lungs of the world should spark an understanding in anybody as to how conservation benefits us all!
Zoos conserve through so many ways! They protect populations. They take in interest in re-establishing and supporting wild animals. They ignite understanding. They provide a looking glass that everybody can see the real world through. They involve everybody in debate not just those that visit zoos but also those that disagree about the ethics and morality of zoos. They bring everyday people into contact with nature. They promote morally ethical and practical natural solutions. The list is endless.
We are modern family run zoo. We like to think we reflect and try and help the needs of different animals and plants across the world – we bring them to you and encourage you to appreciate and acknowledge that they have as much right to live and enjoy life as you and me.
“The world is still a rich tapestry of interwoven life, enjoy the diversity and help keep this for future generations of animals and people. We need to become eco-sustainable or we will not have a future for our children”