Also, it is stated that zoos are a safer place for animals than being threatened by poaching. Zoos can only do so much to âprotectâ the orangutan population by breeding them, but thatâs about where their influence in the conservation of this species ends. And zoo animals are an easy target. 9. Even zoos can no longer protect rhinos from poachers March 9, 2017 10.56am EST. Due to habitat damage and fragmentation, poaching and pollution, scores of wild species and ecosystems around the world are threatened â many are on the brink of extinction. The debate rages on whether zoos offer the best option to protect animals facing extinction. More than 230 top zoos and top aquariums of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) work to provide safe habitats, medical care, and a nurturing environment for their animals. 10. Zoo conservation work can be âin-situâ, where money, expertise and sometimes staff are provided to protect animals and their habitats in the wild. On one side of the fence, you have scientists who state that zoos can help an endangered species thrive while detractors state that the best way to protect a threatened species is to create protective preserves where they can breed naturally. Volunteer with the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, learn anti-poaching techniques and aid efforts to protect wildlife. Check out volunteer opportunities with Protrak Anti-Poaching Unit.  The oldest still operating zoo in the world, Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, opened in 1752[Controversy has historically surrounded zoos, from debates over displaying âexoticâ humans in exhibits to zookeepers â¦ GRAPHIC: The death of a rhinoceros at the hands of poachers in France last month has forced other zoos to take drastic action to protect their animals. Poaching for the exotic pet trade affects an animalâs welfare in addition to its numbers in the wild. Tanya Wyatt, Northumbria University, Newcastle. For example, lions and a black bear that used to live in Magic World Zoo in Aleppo, Syria, were abandoned at the zoo to face starvation and injury when the Syrian Civil war broke out. Zoos have existed in some form since at least 2500 BCE in Egypt and Mesopotamia, where records indicate giraffes, bears, dolphins, and other animals were kept by aristocrats. We Can Do Better At the same time, zoos find themselves on the front lines of conservation. In his new book, ASU School of Life Sciences Professor Ben Minteer brings together an impressive roster of authors that Similar to the Dvur Kralove Zoo, the Pairi Daiza Zoo in Belgium is planning to shorten its rhinosâ horns as an anti-poaching measure, and to protect its security personnel as well. In some zoos, animal welfare is often overlooked, leaving captive animals to suffer under conditions that are psychologically and physiologically damaging. Zoo authorities do admit that the functioning of zoos is not flawless, and that captive animals do suffer from problems; however, they also expect people to appreciate the sincere efforts taken by them to protect and preserve wild animals. Zoos and aquariums around the world offer an incredible up close and personal view of nature.