Zoo and Aquarium History : Ancient Animal Collections to Conservation Centers book cover
2nd Edition

Zoo and Aquarium History
Ancient Animal Collections to Conservation Centers

ISBN 9781032252797
Published July 8, 2022 by CRC Press
447 Pages 91 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Wild animals have been housed in zoos and aquariums for 5,000 years, fascinating people living in virtually every society. Today, these institutions are at a new milestone in their history. This second edition of Zoo and Aquarium History takes the reader on a journey through the transition of private collections to menageries, to zoos, then zoological gardens, and more recently conservation centers and sanctuaries. Under the direction of Vernon N. Kisling, an expert in zoo history, an international team of authors has thoroughly updated the only comprehensive, global history of animal collections, menageries, zoos, and aquariums. The resulting book documents the continuum of efforts in maintaining wild animal collections from ancient civilizations through today, explaining how modern zoos have developed their mission statements around the core aims of conservation, education, research and recreation. This new edition pulls together regional information, including new chapters on zoological gardens of Canada, Latin America, China, Israel, the Middle East, and New Zealand, along with the cultural aspects of each region to provide a foundation upon which further research can be based. It presents a chronological listing of the world's zoos and aquariums and features many never-before published photographs. Sidebars present supplementary information on pertinent personalities, events, and wildlife conservation issues. The original Appendix has been expanded to include over 1,200 zoos and aquariums, providing an invaluable resource. This is an extensive, chronological introduction to the subject, highlighting the published and archival resources for those who want to know more.

Table of Contents

Preface: From Wilderness to Megazoo


Editor’s Biography


1. Ancient Collections and Menageries

Vernon N. Kisling, Jr.

2. Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland

Tim Brown and Catherine de Courcy

3. Zoological Gardens of Western Europe

Harro Strehlow

4. Zoological Parks of Eastern Europe & Russia

Leszek Solski

5. Zoological Gardens of the United States

Vernon N. Kisling, Jr. and Rick Barongi

6. Zoological Gardens of Canada

Brent A. Huffman

7. Zoological Parks of Australia & New Zealand

Catherine de Courcy and Michelle Murphy

8. Zoological Gardens of the Middle East

Sally Walker

9. Zoological Gardens of Israel

Shai Ben-Ami

10. Zoological Gardens of Asia

Sally Walker

11. Zoological Gardens of India

Sally Walker

12. Zoological Gardens of China

Herman Reichenbach

13. Zoological Gardens of Japan

Ken Kawata

14. Zoological Gardens of Africa

Sally Walker, Wilhelmus Labuschagne and Vernon N. Kisling, Jr.

15. Zoological Gardens of Latin America

James F. Ellis, Jr., Georgeann A. Ellis and Vernon N. Kisling, Jr.



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Vernon N. Kisling is an expert in history of zoos, and University of Florida Chair Emeritus, Marston Science Library. Kisling earned a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida, a master's degree in library studies from Florida State University, a master's degree in wildlife management from the University of Georgia and a doctorate from Nova University. He has served as a librarian at the UF Marston Science Library since 1989 and is responsible for various subjects, including the history of science, environmental sciences and agricultural sciences.


A fascinating insight into the background of zoos and aquariums around the world. This update shines a spotlight on what will become the most important historical legacy of zoological collections in years to come- their role in science, conservation and education. As zoos evolve to have a wider societal and global impact, so has this text expanded to explain the principles and purposes of what zoos and aquariums stand, providing context for their continued existence in a world of rapidly changing opinions, ideas and challenges. Full of detailed and descriptive text, and useful case studies, that is accessible to the experienced zoo professional and armchair enthusiast alike.

-- Dr Paul Rose, Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, University of Exeter, UK

A super interesting read! A book that does not shy away from controversial subjects such as war, colonialism and anti-zoo campaigns. It gives us real insights into how zoos have weathered and adapted through the ages, to become the organisations that we see today. I thoroughly recommend for anyone wanting to work, or conduct research, in zoos.

-- Dr Robyn Grant, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom.