Target: Lee Ehmke, President of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Goal: Require zoos to offer education initiatives on endangered animals.
As of 2016, there are roughly 2,500 critically endangered animal species facing extinction. Many of these animals are currently housed at zoos across the world, yet their numbers remain unstable. Zoos claim to be proponents of conservation, devoted to the protection of all animals species. It is now the responsibility of zoos to lead the way in changing how we think of conservation and the viewing of wild animals. Critically endangered animals are running out of time. Every zoo should be required to offer an education initiative on endangered animals that they house at their zoos.
Millions of people visit zoos every year to look at animals they would otherwise never see. Zoos spend time and money on conservation efforts, but seemingly little of these efforts actually impact their visitors. By offering education initiatives on endangered animals that are housed at zoos, or animals closely related to those housed at zoos, zoos could reach more people. Visitors would be encouraged to find clues throughout the zoo on the animals that conservation efforts need to highlight. These clues would be facts about the species and ways to help them. When all clues were collected then visitors would be given a prize. In addition to this conservation game, visitors would be encouraged to attend special education classes held during meal times at various restaurants in the zoo.
Learning about animals that are in need of help would encourage people to get involved with the preservation of these animals. Children and adults would be reached through various games and classes that make endangered animal species more familiar to visitors. Since every education initiative is individualized based on the animals at each zoo, this would make people feel more invested in their own zoos and more likely to be invested in the future of animals. Currently, zoos are coming under criticism for not doing enough for conservation. This initiative would give zoos a step up and show people that zoos are invested in the conservation of animals. Please sign this petition and urge zoos to put up a fight against animal extinction by offering education to visitors.
Dear Lee Ehmke,
Conservation efforts have increased all around the world to help the growing list of animals now facing extinction. While many people may never see these animals in the wild, zoos have made it possible for people to get a glimpse of the animals they should be saving. With the growing problems facing animals in the wild, zoos have to step up their efforts to push conservation. Zoos must educate people on the animals that need help.
By offering education opportunities on endangered animals, zoos could expand the number of visitors that their education efforts reach. Children would learn through games that took them on safaris around the zoo in search of clues that gave animal facts. Mini classes could be offered during meal times to reach guests without requiring them to attend a class that might interfere with their zoo experience. With every zoo having an individualized education initiative, visitors would become invested not only in their zoo but also in the animals they were learning to protect.
I urge you to make conservation the top priority of zoos and better their outreach programs. Without the concern of people all around the world, these endangered animals don’t have a future. Please lead the way in animal conservation by making zoos the educational outreach tool they were meant to be.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Daderot