Evaluation of Zoological Gardens in Punjab in Public Education and Captive Wildlife Conservation
Bushra Nisar Khan*, Nageen Hussain, Abida Butt, Aneela Durani, Amina Tufail, Rida Ahmad, Ali Raza
The evolution of methods for keeping wild animals in captivity can be traced back many centuries. The desire to keep animals in captivity for recreational purposes led to the development of several zoological parks after man adopted a more settled way of life. These zoos, aquariums, and other animal sanctuaries must now serve a more serious purpose, one that goes beyond entertainment. Around 700 million people visit zoos and aquariums each year, as reported by WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums). True zoos and aquariums provide special opportunities for local communities to get involved in protecting wildlife. In addition, zoological parks are widely acknowledged for the invaluable contributions they make to conservation and scientific study by means of the animals and plants in their living collections. This research was devised to evaluate the conservation and educational impact of the Lahore Zoological Gardens, the Bahawalpur Zoological Gardens, and the Marghazar Zoological Gardens. In general, the results showed that the Lahore Zoo was the best of the selected zoos. However, for a variety of reasons (including a lack of a zoo animal keeper training programme, poor record keeping, inbreeding, inadequate housing, inadequate veterinary care, an inadequate animal collection plan, the absence of an on-site animal nutritionist, and a lack of or improper public education and awareness programming), the Lahore Zoo did not meet WAZA standards so far.