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Zoos as effective tool for conservation education



Wildlife is currently facing numerous threats from anthropogenic activities such as hunting, wildlife trade/trafficking, logging, habitat destruction, and climate change to mention a few. As a means to curb these ever increasing threats, some factors must be put in place and that is where the role of Zoological Gardens comes into play. Aside from the recreational importance of Zoos, they are also a useful and effective tool for conservation education, gene pool preservation and a place for captive breeding amongst other good roles.
This book Wildlife and Zoo management, is one of its kind as there are few books in Nigeria with major focus on both Wildlife and zoo management. It is interesting to note that it is a compendium of some sorts with contributions by authors who have been chosen across the board of seasoned professionals in the field of wildlife, ecotourism, animal science, veterinary medicine and zoology with a renowned zoo manager and lecturer as the editor of the book.
Most of the books available in these fields of study and practice, deal with either wildlife or zoo management. The book, containing 10 chapters, efficiently and explicitly covers various aspects of the subject matter.
The book elaborately discusses the setting of a zoo garden in the twenty-first century, with helpful information on how to set up a zoo, the types of animals and their enclosures and the administrative management of a Zoological Garden. It elucidates thoroughly on the conservation and management of wild and restrained animals; it enlightens on what conservation is all about and the management of captive animals.
More so, the book addresses current techniques and technology in the management and conservation of restrained animals and safety procedures with special focus on the modern technique of zoo/park management and captive mechanisms with respect to ex-situ and in-situ conservation.
Husbandry needs of restrained animals are adequately discussed with emphasis on animal identification, nutrient requirements of zoo animals, sanitation and special requirement of both the animals and the visitors. Wildlife, zoo, tourism, and health issues are major interlink in the management of fauna resources, and these have been brought to light in the book.
Cognizance is taken of the objectives of wildlife conservation and the role of zoos in conservation issues, type of zoos, zoo/visitors health concerns and a comprehensive list of zoos in Nigeria. More importantly, the aspect of zoonotic diseases from different categories of wild animals, the health of zoo workers, the code of conduct in zoos, and infection control strategy for veterinarians and zoo staff are furthermore discussed.
This book has also done justice to all that is needed to be known about capture, restraining and transporting of wild animals with several practical methods of application in in-situ and ex-situ environments. There are a lot of helpful information on zoo safety procedures and handling of zoo emergencies, the rules to follow when in zoos and precaution measures for both visitors and zoo staff.
The past and recent challenges of poaching in protected areas are also discussed with the relevant actions to take. Finally, zoo and visitors management is discussed with additional note on its definition and importance, as well as risk and conflict management in a zoological garden.
I must say that the book is indeed an eye opener to wildlife and zoo management. It is invaluable and highly recommended for wildlife and zoo practitioners, zoo keepers, zoo owners, zoo visitors, students, policy makers, teachers, researchers and the general public.
It is written in simply and lucid language, which makes it easy to read and understand the subject matters that have been greatly simplified and enlivened by the mode of writing and experiences of the various contributors.
It is hope that readers from across board, especially students and professionals in the field of environmental science, wildlife and conservation, would find it a must read and companion of great value.
The Editor, Dr. Olajumoke Abimbola Morenikeji, is a seasoned zoologist, a teacher and also a one-time manager of the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden. She brought tremendous improvement physically and financially to the Garden and such infrastructural development is a living testimony.

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