Zoological garden - American Education
A nonacademic educative institution that displays live animals for public enjoyment, education, conservation, research and, often, for profit, depending on the financial status of the institution. Popularly known as zoos and a valuable adjunct to classroom studies of zoology, modern zoological gardens attempt to simulate the native habitat of each species and often offer opportunities for threatened species to breed. Zoological gardens date from the earliest civilizations, and rulers in Egypt, China and elsewhere kept collections of animals for their personal enjoyment. In Europe, the first modern zoo—a collection of caged animals—was the Imperial Menagerie established in Vienna in 1752 and opened to the public in 1828. The Jardin des Plantes (Botanical Garden) was the first zoo to surround its cages with gardens. The oldest zoo in the United States is New York’s Central Park Zoo, which opened in 1864. Until the 1970s, it followed the traditional practice of most zoos of housing their wide variety of beasts in bare steel cages that allowed animals only to pace endlessly in circles during their waking hours. In the final decades of the 20th century, the zoological organizations that operate zoos in New York and other major cities began doing away with cages in order to let animals roam free in large fields and forests surrounded by fences or moats too high or too deep for them to escape. For viewing purposes, many zoological gardens installed monorails or other forms of protected transportation that allowed visitors to safely watch the animals in their natural habitats.