The Mighty Jungle (Paperback)
Modern zoos have multiple goals, including animal welfare, conservation, education, research, and entertainment.
To evaluate the effectiveness of zoos in achieving these goals, it is important to study the effects of animal-visitor interactions.
Research has shown that interventions based on exhibit design, species characteristics, and visitor education can increase positive animal-visitor interactions and facilitate the multiple goals of modern zoos. However, these goals can sometimes conflict with each other. Visitors often want to observe and interact with animals in close proximity, which can induce stress for many species. Despite this, repeat visitors are more inclined to seek out conservation efforts compared to those visiting zoos for the first time. Visitors have more positive perceptions and behaviors towards zoos, their animals, and conservation initiatives when they interact with animals, naturalistic exhibits, and zoo programming/staff. Zoo visitors are receptive to conservation messaging and initiatives at zoos and are more likely to participate in on-site conservation opportunities as opposed to after their visits.