Wild Animal Special: Who Invented The Zoo? We Have The Details! | Kidadl


Wild Animal Special: Who Invented The Zoo? We Have The Details!

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Whether it be kids or adults, we are always excited to visit the zoo.

The zoo that we see today is a result of various changes that happened throughout history. Are you curious to know about the history behind zoos?

Would you like to know how these zoos came into being, who invented this idea, and what animals are seen and not seen in the zoo? Let's explore all these questions here.

The first private collection of animals that can be called a zoo was created by Shulgi, the emperor of UR around 2400 BC. The first real zoo of the world that was open to the public was established in 1500 BC in Egypt. This zoo was established by Queen Hatshepsut by collecting animals from across Africa. 

After reading these fun facts about zoos, also check out facts around who discovered arsenic and the Andromeda Galaxy from Earth.

Zoo History

The modern zoo that we see today is a result of some zoo that started a long time ago. How did the first zoo evolve into modern zoos that we see today? What is the history behind the evolution of public zoos?

Did you know that the history of zoos began almost 3,000 years ago? The first zoo goes back to ancient Egypt. Initially, zoos were a symbol of power. Wild animals were kept in a zoo by kings and noblemen to show their prestige in society. These animal collections underwent a slight change during the exploration period.

Travelers found animal species that were exotic during their voyages. This discovery led people to collect animals on their journey as a way to show power and status. Zoos existed to demonstrate this power and status. During the ancient world, animal collections were a result of gifts sent by people to the king while they visited the kingdom. These animals were also used for entertainment through staged fights between dangerous animals.

Ancient animal collections were also used for this purpose. With the period of renaissance, zoos began to have a new purpose or meaning. At first, zoos were not for public viewing.  Earlier zoos were for scientific purposes. Exotic animals were kept for the purpose of studying them. The first public zoo opened during the rule of Elizabeth I. After that, many private zoological gardens opened to the public. Conservation efforts related to the zoological collection began after World War II.

The importance of wildlife conservation increased during this time. Changes were done to the zoological park that ensured conservation. Zoo animals were given spaces that were similar to their natural habitats. The reason for giving animals natural habitats is so they will be more comfortable in such environments. In earlier times, since conservation was not a prime concern, animals were treated rather cruelly.

One of the oldest zoos is called The London Zoo. It had polar bears kept in cages along with other exotic animals. This kind of treatment led to animals having a very hard time. The zoological society today concentrates more on preserving animals, especially endangered species, by providing them an environment in which they can survive.

First Zoo: Why And Where

When going through the history of zoos, it is hard to determine who invented the zoo. It used to be a common practice among rulers to have a collection of exotic animals.

When we try to determine the history of the first zoo, we actually end up having multiple answers. It could be the first idea of a zoo or the first modern zoo, the kind that we have today.

Either way, the oldest known zoological collection was with the ruler of Ur, known as Shulgi, in 2400 BC. The first real zoo was seen in the time of Queen Hatshepsut which is during 1500 BC. After that, Emperor Wen Wang of China built a zoo called Ling Yu, which means garden of intelligence. This zoo had a wide collection of exotic animals.

The oldest zoo that exists is seen in Vienna, Austria. The zoo is called  Tiergarten Schönbrunn. This oldest zoo in the world was built by Emperor Franz I in 1752 for his wife. As time passed, zoos were built for scientific uses only. The first zoo built for such a purpose was The London Zoo.

The London Zoo was established in 1828 by The Zoological Society of London. Similarly, The Dublin Zoo was created in 1831. The Dublin Zoo was for the medical study of animals both dead and alive. In the United States, the first zoo built was The Central Park Zoo. The Central Park Zoo was built in 1860. Shortly after that, in 1874, The Philadelphia Zoo was built. It is a famous zoo in the United States even today. There are also other zoos like The Berlin Zoo, The Antwerp Zoo, and The Bristol Zoo that are the oldest zoos that still exist today.

The word ‘zoo’ came from the word ‘zoological garden’. Like botanical gardens that preserve plants, zoos are used to preserve animals. The oldest zoo that existed in ancient times didn’t have this purpose. It was a way to show off the power of a ruler. It also was a hobby for rulers to collect animals for their private zoo collections. Later, zoos became a way to study animals and their behavior. Zoos like The London Zoo were established for this purpose.

As time passed, the need to save and preserve the animal kingdom from extinction became a prime concern. The modern animal park has animals preserved in habitats that they can live in comfortably. There are also animals captured and kept in the zoo for public viewing too. These animals are kept inside a closed structure so they won't harm visitors. Children and adults can learn about wild animals and their behavior through these animal parks. But at the end of the day, cages are cages. Some animals won't find it as comfortable as their natural habitat.

Most animals require their natural habitat condition to survive and thrive.

The Most Dangerous Animals In A Zoo

Every animal kept in the zoo is a wild animal, or at least most of them are. The first image one can have of wild animals is the ferocious human-eating species in the wild. But that is not the case. There are some innocent wild animals who are herbivores that are seen in zoos too.

In earlier times, wild animals were not kept inside a cage. The cage system came into being a while after that. During the rule of emperors, wild animals that belonged to them kept wandering in the streets. But, in the present day, you won’t come across such a scenario. The fact that some of the deadliest animals are seen in the zoo is reason enough to keep them enclosed inside a cage or other structure. What are some of the deadliest animals in the zoo?

Lions would be an obvious answer. They are, in fact, very deadly animals. In the zoological park, you find a deep furrow dug between the cage area where people come to visit and the place where lions are seen. The deep furrows ensure that the lion won't end up jumping on humans.

Another deadly animal seen in the zoo is the elephant. Elephants are very large animals who are also offenders. They will attack humans if they feel provoked. Since the cage can sometimes be too much, the possibility of them being provoked is slightly higher. Other than lions and elephants, tigers and bears can also be very dangerous to humans. These animals are kept very secure in the zoo to prevent any harm.

On the other hand, animals that are almost harmless are kept in a more open view. Cobras and other poisonous snakes are kept inside a glass cage to prevent them from escaping and causing panic. Crocodiles are also very deadly animals. Imagine being in front of these animals without proper protection? Yikes!

Animals That Can't Be Kept In A Zoo

Just because there are zoos to keep animals doesn’t mean that every animal is kept inside these zoos. If you have visited enough zoos, then you might have noticed that certain animals are not seen in any zoos.

There are animals that cannot survive in captivity. These types of animals are not seen in the zoo and cannot be kept in zoos either. Which animals are these?

Certain animals don’t do well in captivity. They cannot live under human care. Other times, the requirements needed for these animals cannot be provided by humans either. The great white shark is an example. There have been attempts to keep these sharks in aquariums and other captivity structures, but these sharks don’t survive for long. These sharks won't even eat and eventually end up dying. The environment needed for them has been an impossible attempt for humans all this time.

Birds like swallows also don’t do well in captivity. These birds love flying and in captivity they don’t do well.

You might have seen gorillas in zoos, but none of them would be mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas, for some weird reason, do not thrive in captivity. Most gorillas in zoos are lowland gorillas.

You won't see a giant squid in captivity either, but due to a different reason. These giant squids live deep in the water and are almost impossible to catch; they are also a rare species. To have them in captivity, you need to catch them first. In the case of this species, that is not even an option.

Narwhal species, who are similar to whales but have long narrow tusks, don't survive when they are captured. You won't find these species in aquariums or zoos.

Lemurs seen in Madagascar called indri are also rare animals that do not survive more than a year when they are captured. Another interesting fact is that these lemurs tend to not reproduce when they are taken from the wild.

The Javan rhino is also a mammal that does not survive in the zoo. All these animals are therefore not seen in zoos; even if they are, their lifespan is reduced dramatically in captivity.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for wild animal special: who invented the zoo then why not take a look at St Louis Arch height or jungle habitat facts.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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