MANAGEMENT OF ZOOS IN NIGERIA: ISSUES AND PROSPECTS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The term “zoo” is a monument to a long-standing tradition of people’s fascination with non-human nature. Since the early societies of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese, wild animals have been maintained in captivity in order to satisfy human curiosity with exotica. Most western zoos today, however, embrace far more benevolent values supporting the conservation of biodiversity through specialized animal breeding, research, and education programs. These aims are intended to move zoos along an evolutionary continuum that will see them eventually transformed from “living natural history cabinets” to “environmental resources centers” (Rabb 1994: 162).
‘The zoo is in such a condition that it’s no longer a zoo, it’s a concentration camp… When I look those animals in the eyes, I am ashamed to be a human being.’ (Tarnavska on Kiev Zoo, Fox News Europe, 2011). The idea and concept of zoo keeping started in ancient times (Ayodele et al., 1999) with the first animal collections for public amusement being set up in ancient Egypt and China (Fa et al., 2011). The first zoos were originally just a collection of live wild animals on exhibition (menageries) for the amusement of the public (Omonona and Ayodele, 2011). They persisted until the establishment of the first formal in Vienna in 1752 (WAZA, 2006). Zoos at this time were still aimed to satisfy the public’s curiosities. It was not until the late 18th Century that the worth of zoos as centres of scientific research was recognised (Carr and Cohen, 2011). The first scientific zoo and charity was created in 1826 in London; the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The concern for the animals’ welfare and interest in conservation of species, are recent developments, which started after the Second World War (Knowles, 2003). The World Association of Zoos and Aquarium (WAZA) now provide a common standard of practice to guide zoos worldwide.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Zoos became popular attractions at a time when people didn’t have any other opportunities of seeing or learning about wild animals. Nowadays, many zoos still strongly state that their mission is to educate people and conserve endangered species. However, research shows that for most part, zoos exist for the sake of human entertainment and that the conservational role of zoos is questionable, even controversial.The management of zoos in Nigeria has it’s issues and prospects which is greatly affecting the economy of the country.
Zoos today have come to face opposition from the public due to the way they are managed. People question the conditions of the animals as well as the ethics behind capturing them from the wild and putting them behind bars. As visitor numbers decline and the public boycotts animal-based institutions, zoos are beginning to face an ultimatum: develop or become extinct. The topic around the welfare of animals in zoos is not new, however, the ethics, behind zoo management as well as the problems and prospects are not widely discussed or researched in the academic world.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study sought to know the problems and prospects of zoo management in Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to;
1. examine the nature of zoos.
2. examine the ethics behind zoo business.
3. examine the current codes of conduct in zoo management.
4. assess the tourism facilities, services and management strategies of zoos.
5. evaluate the problems and prospects of zoo management in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the nature of zoos?
2. What are the ethics behind zoo business?
3. What are the current codes of conduct in zoo management?
4. How are the tourism facilities, services and management strategies of zoos?
5. Are there problems and prospects of zoo management in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Ho: There are no significant problems and prospects of zoo management in Nigeria.
Hi: There are significant problems and prospects of zoo management in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the Study
This study is management of zoos in Nigeria: issues and prospects.
Limitations of study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Zoo: A zoo is a facility in which all animals are housed within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also breed.
Management: includes the activities of setting the strategy of an organization and coordinating the efforts of its employees (or of volunteers) to accomplish its objectives through the application of available resources, such as financial, natural, technological, and human resources.