Unfortunately for adult animal lovers, zoos are too often seen as a place to entertain children rather than be an institution for conservation and environmental education. Zoo staff often see families treating the zoo more like a playground than a place of respecting animals and learning about them.
We scoured through the internet and found ten things that annoy zoo staff to no end. Here are some actions your family should avoid doing on your next visit to a zoo. Also, if you see someone else doing any of these things then it would be a good deed to tell them to stop for the safety of themselves and the animals.
10 Tapping The Glass
Imagining someone just knocking on your windows all day when you are trying to relax in your house. That is what it feels like for zoo animals when people tap on the glass.
Zoo staff typically took on their jobs due to their love of animals so it really bothers them when visitors are not letting the animals have some peace. The tapping and banging can be very stressful for them.
9 Tossing Coins Into Animal Enclosures
Somehow some people think that if there is a public body of water, that means they can make a wish a throw a coin into it even if it is in a zoo enclosure. This is obviously a quick way to get the staff mad at you because coins are small enough for the animals to eat and choke on.
Not everything is a wishing well. The coins are dangerous even if left alone in the water, as the water that the animal drinks absorbs nasty chemicals from the metal. There are even articles about how big an issue this is in some zoos.
8 Standing On Enclosure Railing
It may seem innocent to want to get a better view of the animals, but this is one of the most dangerous things you can do while visiting a zoo.
There are tons of stories of children falling into animal enclosures because their parent put them on the railing for a better view. Kids have died from doing this and staff are well aware of the dangers.
7 Throwing Food Into Animal Enclosures
Throwing any food into an animal enclosure in a zoo is an easy way to kill them. While it may seem entertaining and sweet to share your food with them, there are really tragic stories of zoo animals dying due to eating food that was wrong for them.
Matters are also obviously bad for the animals if the food includes trash, as many zoo animals have died from eating trash thrown in their enclosures as well.
6 Making Noises At Animals To Get Their Attention
If you are a regular zoo visitor or staff member, then you definitely have seen people try to get the attention of the animals by making noises. Kids howl at the wolves, growl at the tigers, and scream at the monkeys.
You would also know that this never works. These animals are used to humans making every noise and will ignore them. However, that doesn't stop the humans from making the noises. It gets very annoying after a while.
5 Parents Telling Their Children Wrong Information About The Animal
The reason the zoo is there is to educate people. So it can be pretty annoying when parents ignore the signs and try to brag about their knowledge of animals and give their children the wrong information.
Zookeepers have seen it all, from a mom telling her kid that a shark is a dolphin to a rhino is a hippo.
4 Not Reading The Signs
Zoos are filled with signs that show rules, regulations, and information. These signs typically instruct you to not do anything that is on this list. Signs do not always stop people though. They either do not read them or outright ignore them.
This factors in to every single other problem on this list. So always read the signs and read them to your children, loudly, so others around you can also hear.
3 Parents Encouraging Their Children To Touch The Animals
Only in petting zoos is touching the animals okay. Just because there is no glass or cage between you and an animal does not mean you can touch the animal. Zoo staff have often seen this in the case of their aviaries where they keep birds. Parents encourage their kids to touch the birds for a good photo opportunity.
However, that is a quick way to get your kid bitten. Even worse, that is a quick way to spread disease. It is okay to get a little close to the animals, but definitely never attempt touching them. The staff members will yell at you, and with good reason.
2 Parents Not Watching Their Children
It is ultimately up to parents to teach all these rules and regulations to their children. Kids often times just do not know any better about safety and the needs of animals. Parents not watching their children is a quick way to a kid getting into trouble by doing everything from standing on the railing to yelling at the animals and tapping on the enclosure glass.
If you have to buy a child leash and be that family, that is fine. If anyone makes fun of you and your kid, just tell them they won't be laughing when their kid falls into a lion enclosure while your kid is still safe at your side.
1 Using The Camera Flash Setting In A Nocturnal Exhibit
Zoos are a great location for photography enthusiasts. You can get some amazing photos of various animals. However, flash photography is absolutely prohibited in some cases. The most obvious place to not use flash is in the nocturnal exhibits. There is a reason why the animals are in the dark! They like the dark and a quick flash of light from a camera can frighten and traumatize them.
Besides the animals, flash can also be very annoying to humans, especially in a dark and enclosed space.