Now, a new study backs up that intuition. Kids going to zoos is demonstrably a learning experience.
Based on survey of visitors between the ages of 7-14 to the London Zoo, Mongabay reports that slightly over half of them showed improved knowledge in at least one of the following three areas: Conservation knowledge, concern for endangered species, desire to participate in conservation efforts.What's more, 39% of kids said they didn't care about endangered species before attending the zoo but did so afterwards.
How long that concern lasts and how well it translates into action is likely another story.
As Mongabay's Jeremy Hance rightly points out, the experience at the London Zoo may not always be comparable to less well run zoos. Hance says,
The London Zoo is generally considered among the best in Britain, and many may not live up to its focus on education and conservation. It is also the world's oldest zoo established for scientific purpose.
The Central Park Zoo, photo: Mat McDermott
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