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Modern zoos and aquariums have evolved from places of entertainment only to organizations engaged in research, conservation, and education. This evolution has included an emphasis on the welfare of individual animals and investment in meeting the needs of the animals. One of the ways in which zoos are striving to improve animal welfare is through the provision of choice and control over aspects of the animals’ environments. While choice and control are often lumped together, they mean distinct things and have different implications for animal care. In this chapter, we aim to differentiate choice from control, explain why each is important for promoting animal welfare, illustrate some ways good zoos currently apply these ideas to improve animal experiences, and signpost directions for future growth.
In the modern era, zoos and aquariums fight species extinction, educate communities, and advance learning of animal behaviour. This book features first person stories and scientific reviews to explore ground breaking projects run by these institutions. Large-scale conservation initiatives that benefit multiple species are detailed in the first section, including critical habitat protection, evidence-based techniques to grow animal populations and the design of community education projects. The second section documents how zoos use science to improve the health and welfare of animals in captivity and make difficult management decisions. The section on saving species includes personal tales of efforts to preserve wild populations through rehabilitation, captive breeding, reintroduction, and public outreach. The concluding section details scientific discoveries about animals that would have been impossible without the support of zoos and aquariums. The book is for animal scientists, zoo professionals, educators and researchers worldwide, as well as students of zookeeping and conservation.
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