The Best Educational Tool
So many people dismisses Zoos, as did I before I moved the the US. And yes, this can be a complicated matter because unfortunately there are many Zoos out there that are mismanaged and the animals are only being exploited and not taken care of the way they need to be. But this happens every where, even in our own Africa!
Great Zoos like The Wilds, White Oak Conservation, Chehaw, the new Georgia Zoo and Wildlife Park, just to name a few, do have a place in conservation, research and especially in Wildlife education. I realize it now more than ever. I always do thorough research to make sure the Zoo and Wildlife Park I would like to visit and support is legit and fits this criteria, it must otherwise I will not even waste my time to go!!Everyone of us are born and raised in a different continent with different cultures and languages. Many might never leave the country of birth and get an opportunity to experience different cultures and most of all, the wildlife that does not exist in their country and that they will never get to see.
Unless!! They either find an opportunity to travel, or find a well managed Zoo and Wildlife Park that they can visit. There are so many children in my own country that have never seen our magnificent cats, let alone a Rhino, in the wild. Thanks to organizations like CCF and AfriCat children have opportunities to visit and see the predator ambassadors.
It is hard to ask someone to fight for a beautiful creature such as a Rhino, if they have only seen pictures of one, maybe here and there some video footage on YouTube. The expression of children, even adults, when they see a Black Rhino for the first time, truly is priceless. That meeting with the Rhino could very well have planted a seed in that child's heart and that child might go out into the world, be it in their country or abroad, and fight for an animal that took their breath away. That is how powerful each animal ambassador can be to their species.
I was born and raised in Namibia and in all the years I lived and worked there, I have never had an opportunity to see a Black Rhino up close, until now when I was able to meet Sam Houston at Chehaw at Albany Georgia USA. it was an incredible experience. Imagine how much more for someone that does not even live in Africa!