National Zoo and Aquarium Month is celebrated annually in June to honor the role that zoos and aquariums play in the conservation and research of animal and fish species. National Zoo and Aquarium Month also promotes and encourages people to visit zoos and aquariums. Zoos and aquariums provide the opportunity for individuals to learn about animals and marine life. Many of them also offer different kinds of interactive educational programs to make learning more fun.
History of National Zoo and Aquarium Month
The first zoo in America was the Philadelphia Zoo that opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1874. It is still one of the most important facilities for endangered animals and their breeding.
The New York Zoological Society was established in 1895. There was a time when three popular zoos, namely Prospect Park, Central Park, and Queens zoo, were operated by the Parks Department. But in the 1980s, after capital restorations were undertaken, the Wildlife Conservation Society took up management. It was in 1993 that the name ‘Wildlife Conservation Center’ came into being, to better represent the goals of the institution.
A major change came in the 1930s when local zoos started receiving financial aid via various federal relief programs. The Works Progress Administration and other such agencies contributed a lot towards the renovation, construction, and expansion of zoos, especially during the time of the Great Depression when local budgets were drastically reduced.
In the 1960s, the operation of the zoos shifted to a public-private partnership due to two reasons: first, the early zoos of the 1930s became outdated and appeared primitive and, second, park administrators had to move scarce resources to meet the basic needs of a more expanded zoo system. With time, even the zoo-going public adjusted to the fact that the zoo was more than just there for them to gawk at animals — it was about conservation and creating a learning experience.
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan finally dedicated the month of June to zoos and aquariums as a way to showcase their importance in the conservation of animals and marine life.
National Zoo and Aquarium Month timeline
The Pennsylvania State Legislature votes for the establishment of the Philadelphia Zoological Society with physician William Camac as its president.
“The New York Aquarium Journal,” the world’s first aquarium magazine, is published.
Marineland, the world’s first large oceanarium (saltwater aquarium), is completed near St. Augustine, Florida.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium opens, which becomes the first to showcase a living kelp forest and has more than 35,000 animals and fish representing over 550 species.
National Zoo and Aquarium Month FAQs
What are the benefits of Zoos and Aquariums?
Zoos and aquariums are important for the conservation and research of the different species of animals and fish. They are also useful in protecting the population of endangered species and enlightening the public about their importance.
Why are aquariums bad?
The most important reason why aquariums are considered bad is due to the unavailability of a huge natural habitat for them in which there is a natural cycle that they are a part of. Aquariums can also be stressful for organisms. These creatures often spend their entire lives in a tank. This is also why steps are taken to give the fish and marine life as much space as possible along with proper care and food.
What are the disadvantages of a zoo?
The disadvantage of zoos is that they deprive the animals of their natural habitat. The natural social structure and companionship that animals have in the wild are not there in zoos. This is unnatural and against animal welfare. Thus zoos around the world are taking proper steps to ensure that the animals get to experience a habitat that is as close to their natural habitat as possible.
How To Observe National Zoo and Aquarium Month
Find out about your local wildlife park
Learn about the conservation practices at your local wildlife park(s). If there are any endangered species, find out more about them.
Look up rehabilitation programs
Check out the rehabilitation programs in your area and find out how vets and zoologists help injured animals and fish return to their homes in the jungle or ocean.
Donate for your favorite creature
Many animal welfare programs offer ways to help support wildlife. Some even allow you to donate for your favorite animal or fish, especially the endangered ones.
5 Facts About Zoos And Aquariums That You Didn’t Know
175 million people visit zoos and aquariums in America annually and the San Diego Zoo leads the way with 3,200,000 yearly visitors.
The United States of America boasts a total of 355 zoos in total.
Oldest surviving American zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo is America’s oldest operating zoo — it has been going since July 1, 1874.
Largest American zoo
The Red McCombs Wildlife establishment is the largest zoo in America, which boasts 5,000 hectares of land.
The largest aquarium in America
The largest aquarium in America is the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, which has more than 10 million gallons of water and more aquatic life than any other U.S. aquarium.
Why National Zoo and Aquarium Month is Important
It promotes knowledge about animals and fish
National Zoo and Aquarium Month promotes knowledge about different animals and fish. It is a way to make people more aware of their role in the circle of life.
It promotes conservation
National Zoo and Aquarium Month stresses the importance of the conservation of endangered animals and fish. It encourages contributions to this cause.
It encourages people to visit them
National Zoo and Aquarium Month encourages people to visit zoos and aquariums and come face to face with animals and fish. It is an educational experience that helps people learn more about them.
National Zoo and Aquarium Month dates