The Contribution of Zoos Towards Wildlife Conservation

The Contribution of Zoos Towards Wildlife Conservation

Throughout history humans have made life for many species of animals difficult, and in order to compensate for it, zoos advocate animal welfare and greatly help the maintenance of this planet's biodiversity.
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Humans have caused many species of animals to go extinct, and have pushed many others to the brink of it. Luckily, in order to combat the rapid rate of animal mortality caused by coexisting with humans, zoos operate towards a mission to conserve wildlife and improve the welfare of animals worldwide.

Over the last 47 years, the wild population of vertebrates has declined by 58 percent, and sadly, it is all due to us. Humans are hard to coexist with because as our population grows, more animals lose their homes or food sources. Losing needed sources and lacking places to live in is causing a tremendous shock in the wildlife population today. Habitat loss is the leading reason behind the alarmingly rapid decline of animal populations, and accounts for an 80 percent loss in biodiversity.

Even with the strongest efforts, controlling the rate of which humans destroy animals’ habitats is near to impossible due to the fast increase of the human population, consumerism, and recklessness. However, if we are unable to stop habitats from being destroyed, the least we can do is build them for animals to safely live in.

That is where zoos come in. Many people give zoos a bad name and wrongfully try to belittle their accomplishments. With wildlife being killed off and habitats vanishing, zoos provide healthy and stable shelter for animals. Animals in zoos have access to the adequate amounts of food that they need in order to be healthy, and live under constant veterinarian care, improving their welfare while elongating their lifespans. Conservation organizations can also thank zoos for helping them raise money and fund them, for a significant portion of the revenue gained by admissions and other purchases in zoos goes towards their projects.

Unfortunately, habitat loss is not the only peril that animals face today. There has been a cumulative death of over 73,000 elephants in Tanzania and Mozambique in the last five years due to poaching. While regulations, government interference, and efforts from conservation organizations are helping control the growth of poaching, they are not working fast enough.

The number of rhinos poached has only started decreasing since 2014, and resulted in the extinction of the Western black rhino. Man caused the demise of the Northern white rhinos, but later made it possible to raise their population size from almost extinct to near-threatened. Unfortunately, Northern white rhinos are extinct in the wild, but because of human care and breeding programs, there is still hope for repopulation.

One of the most significant contributions to animal conservation brought by zoos is through breeding programs, which directly increases the population of that given specie. The incapability of animals to breed contributes to the constant diminishing populations of wildlife. Under poor living conditions, the mortality rate of animals surpasses the birth rate, creating a negative pointing slope for its population. Also, one must keep in mind that childbirth always has its complications.

Due to the small pelvic size of squirrel monkeys, the offspring’s head is very large compared to the birth canal diameter, yielding a 34% mortality rate of newborns at birth. Hyenas also face immense danger during the childbirth process due to giving birth to a relatively large matured cub through an extremely narrow organ resembling the male’s reproductive organ. As a result of this excruciating process, about 70% of hyena firstborn cubs and 18% of first-time mothers die during childbirth.

Aside from the dangerous process, hyenas’ gestation lasts about 120 days, which is very long for predators, leaving them vulnerable to other predators. Under zoological care, expecting mothers are vigorously watched and taken care of, significantly decreasing the possibility of pregnancy-related health complications. Childbirth in zoological facilities are monitored and controlled by veterinarians and zookeepers, which protects both the mother and offspring, ensuring that both will survive and live on to further increase that specie’s population.

Zoos hold animals that have been seriously injured or have fled areas with danger from humans, and are responsible for much of the animals that are still left existing. If it was not for zoos, we could expect to have lost many more species of animals. One should not look at zoos as prisons, but instead, as facilities that provide as natural as possible homes for needing animals. AZA credited zoos give animals ethical and interactive habitats while scattering their foods in order to encourage natural behaviors such as browsing, scavenging, and foraging.

While the animals are living a healthy and safe life, the public is able to admire the majestic organisms and learn about them. Every zoo's goal is to inspire the people into somehow joining the effort, and share the appreciation that we humans should all have for animals. By educating the public and raising awareness about urgent conservation statuses, zoos increase the number of people working towards a world where animals can live with great welfare and prosper in the wild without disturbances from humans.

Cover Image Credit: San Diego Zoo

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
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They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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5 Ways We Can Help Protect Marine Life That Will Make You Say 'Shell-Yeah'

It is serious!

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Marine mammals such as dolphins, whales, and seals have captured the hearts of millions of people all over the world. But if we're not careful about how we treat their environment, they may not be around for much longer.

Here are some ways you can help protect our marine life friends!

1. Be beach-friendly. 

Whether you are at the beach to surf, swim, or just relax, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks or coral. If you really want to make a difference, start patrolling the beach area, and help pick up any trash you see lying around. Maybe even see if you can gather a group of people who will do it with you!

Also, don't take wild fish or hermit crabs away from their homes! They're not likely to live very long if they're taken away from their natural habitat. Also, never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water- a practice that can be very harmful to them.

2. Use fewer plastic products. 

Plastic can end up as ocean debris, which contributes to habitat destruction and entangles and kills tens of thousands of marine animals each year.

Many marine animals (such as sea turtles) mistake plastic waste for a viable food source, sometimes causing blockages in their digestive system. Though the declining sea turtle populations in oceans are due to a variety of reasons, plastic pollution plays a significant role. They eat things like jellyfish and are very likely to mistake a plastic straw for a jellyfish snack.

Also, don't ever release balloons- just pop them and throw them out. If you release them, they are a danger to marine wildlife who can accidentally swallow them because they mistook them for food.

3. Limit activities that can alter an animal's environment. 

Worldwide, dolphins face a variety of impacts that threaten their very existence- most of which are impacts of human activities. In recent history, the Yangtze river dolphin was declared extinct due to its river habitat being obstructed by the building of dams and the invasion of boat traffic.

When you are in the animals' natural habitat, be careful not to leave behind or do anything that could cause serious harm to their environment. Clean up after yourselves, and don't leave behind fishing wires, hooks, trash, or anything else.

4. Advocate for oil spill clean-up. 

Going along with the above statement, oil spills can be caused not only by equipment breaking down but also by people making mistakes or just being careless. Oil spills into rivers, oceans, and bays are often caused by accidents involving tankers, pipelines, storage facilities, drilling rigs, refineries, and barges.

Most oils float, so the animals most affected sea otters and sea birds that are found on the sea surface or on shorelines if the oil comes ashore. During most oil spills, seabirds are harmed and killed in greater numbers than any other kinds of creatures. If heavy oils get into the feathers of birds, they may die of hypothermia for losing their ability to keep themselves warm. This same effect is observed with sea otters. Sea otters can easily be harmed by oil since their ability to stay warm depends on their fur remaining clean. When oil remains on the beach for a while, other creatures, such as snails, clams, and terrestrial animals may suffer too.

Many light oils, such as gasoline and diesel, are considered to be toxic. They can kill animals or plants and they are also dangerous to humans who breathe their fumes or get it on their skin.

Go online to learn more about oil spills, and what you can do to help!

5. Lesson your carbon footprint. 



Because of ocean acidification, global warming has been a hot topic in the ocean world. When acidity of the ocean increases, it can cause devastating impacts on marine life, including plankton, corals, shellfish, and the animals that eat them.

The vast majority of the air we breathe comes from the oceans. That's why we say "if the oceans die, we die."


Marine mammals like the vaquita dolphin (only 30 left in existence due to illegal fishing in the Gulf of California) are not much different than humans. They know when they are in trouble, and they get scared.

Start researching online today to see how you can help!

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