Zoos and a century of change



Over the last 100 years changes in life-style expectations of the human population have brought about unprecedented demands on the Earth's resources. Over the same period responsible zoos have developed from menageries to satisfy the curiosity of the masses to conservation organizations with a greater sensitivity to the welfare of animals and an improved knowledge of animal husbandry. Cooperation and education are required to stem the flow of the growing extinction crisis now facing many populations of wild animals. A personal view of the role that zoos have played in addressing these challenges in the 20th century is presented here.