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When is National Zoo Lovers Day?

April 8th is National Zoo Lovers Day.

What is National Zoo Lovers Day?

A two-ton bull giraffe is an imposing beast. You probably don’t want to meet it in the wild, but there’s no need to hit the savannah if you want to see one. National Zoo Lovers Day celebrates our nation’s zoos for showing us the remarkable creatures that fill our world.

We humans love to study animals. The ancient Egyptian kept animal menageries. The ancient Roman emperors kept personal zoos as well, though many of their animals ended up in the arena. The word ‘zoo’ is short for ‘zoological garden,’ a park full of animals in enclosed spaces for the purpose of public display.

While some people oppose animal captivity for a variety of reasons, good zoos provide a number of benefits to the species they keep. For one, they educate people and rally them to the cause of safeguarding threatened animals.

Zoos also fight the extinction of wildlife. Many good zoos support global animal conservation efforts. The Melbourne Zoo, for example, breeds the critically endangered Lord Howe Island Stick Insects. This entire species was brought back from extinction in 2003 through a single pair of male and female specimens.

National Zoo Lovers Day is the chance to thank good zoos for their work and promote healthy environments for animals in capitivity.

Fun facts about National Zoo Lovers Day!

  • The U.S. has 350 zoos.
  • Zoos set up “insurance populations” when it looks like a species in the wild might go extinct.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature has a list of 39 animals who are extinct in the wild, only existing now in zoos.
  • In the 18th century, admission to the zoo at the Tower of London was three half-pence, but one could also provide a dog or cat to feed the lions instead.

How to celebrate National Zoo Lovers Day:

Go to the zoo. Take your kids, bring your friends, and enjoy the menagerie.

What’s the hashtag for National Zoo Lovers Day?

Use #NationalZooLoversDay on social media to give your local zoo a shout out.