by National Council of SPCA’s
Jan 26, 2012

The practice of keeping animals in captivity for exhibition has been around for centuries. It is definitely not a new concept but rather an inherited one. The first zoo was created around 1500BC in Egypt.

Many others were established between 1000 and 400BC in a bid to show power and wealth. One of the most prominent European zoos was established in 1204 in the Tower of London. With exploration of foreign lands being of high importance to the rulers of many countries, especially in Europe, so did the interest in foreign animals increase.

Animals were then transported by ships from far off lands to newly created menageries and zoos. One can just imagine the antiquated methods of capture, transport and housing these animals had to endure. The oldest existing zoo is the Vienna Zoo in Austria which was established in 1752. From this era the establishment of zoos multiplied. Animals housed in these ‘facilities' were there purely for the enjoyment of visitors. Not only were animals displayed, but humans to. This practice only being stopped in 1958.

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