The history of zoos in North America can be traced back through 18th century Europe to ancient civilizations such as the Romans. The menageries of ancient Rome were far different from modern zoos that stress conservation, education, and research as primary objectives. Zoos are still evolving and changing to become more suitable for captive animals and to ensure their animals’ health and well-being. An examination of state wildlife laws reveals that there are more laws that pertain to wildlife at the state and local level than at any other level of government. Federal wildlife laws are few in number and have been criticized for enforcement issues. The definition of an animal is also different from many state laws. International treaties also exist to help protect wildlife and endangered species. Zoos are granted licenses, permits and exemptions from state and federal laws and international wildlife treaties more often than other organizations or individuals.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Molly McCaffrey
Animal Law | Biology
Maxwell, Morgan, "The History Of Zoological Gardens And The State, Federal And International Laws That Govern Them" (2011). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 330.