Are zoos arks or attractions?

Stewart, Natalie Ann (2015) Are zoos arks or attractions? [Dissertation]

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This dissertation focuses on the visitor opinions of zoos on their most recent visits. Visitors that were selected to participate in the research ranged from 18-20 year olds to 60+ year olds. There was also a range in employment status from students to full time workers.
The aim of the study was to reveal where a zoos focus lies, with the option that a zoo is a biologically sound establishment that provides an insight into the conservation of endangered species. Alternately the research could reveal that zoos are a place where people go to be entertained by animals regardless of their species. To gather the relevant data a survey was carried out, surveyed people were asked if they had visited a zoo within the past 5 years. This would ensure that the data was relevant to the subject matter and the time.
The research consisted of a questionnaire that was randomly distributed amongst the public in Gloucestershire, Oxford, and Preston (Lancs.) to obtain a view from different parts of the country for comparison. By using different locations, it also provided different zoos to be connected and identified to past research in order to compile an opinion of whether zoos have progressed since the previous research.
It is not possible to get a set answer to the question proposed, as it is a deep question that is complex and would need more research conducted both with the visitors and with the zoos themselves. The research results suggest a basis that the public are aware of the issues that cause species endangerment, though there is still concern that zoos must entertain their visitors in order to lure them back.

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