Are zoos really a setting for ecotourism?

Sep 23, 2013

According to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, over 700 million people visit zoos each year (WAZA, 2012) and with the growing popularity amongst tourist the debate continues whether it is moral for animals to be kept in zoos, although the primary objective of entertainment has changed to include research, education and conservation.

An area to be looked into is whether zoos are defensible as an ecotourism setting. Latest research by David A. Fennell, Contesting the as a setting for ecotourism, and the design of a published in Journal of Ecotourism, investigates this topic and uses research on three main concerns: conservation – education; welfare; and captivity.

Although we could argue that the is successful with factors such as freedom from hunger, thirst, pain etc, with the failure in animal breading and captivity programmes are zoos achieving ecotourism objectives?

David's research concludes that if we put the welfare of animals over humans' in ecotourism then this will make the step towards a more ethical ecotourism industry.

Explore further: China crushes half a tonne of ivory in symbolic gesture

More information: Fennell, D. Contesting the zoo as a setting for ecotourism, and the design of a first principle, Journal of Ecotourism, Volume 12, Issue 1, 2013. DOI: 10.1080/14724049.2012.737796

Related Stories

Researchers urge more prominent role for zoos

Mar 17, 2011

Of around seven land vertebrate species whose survival in the wild is threatened one is also kept in captivity. These and other data on the protection of species in zoos and aquaria have now been revealed ...

Flamingos need friends too

Mar 04, 2013

UK scientists are embarking on a four-year study of flamingo behaviour to explore how their relationships could be key to improving breeding success and the overall welfare of captive flocks.

Recommended for you

Rules aim to protect imperiled bird's habitat in 10 states

May 28, 2015

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell revealed plans Thursday to preserve habitat in 10 Western states for an imperiled ground-dwelling bird, the federal government's biggest land-planning effort to date for conservation of a single ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.