Role of a Modern Zoo

Indiana the North American black bear sits in the sun on a large tree branch at Woburn Safari Park

Session Outline

This talk explores the history of zoos as purely entertainment venues, replaced with their important role in conservation, research, and education in the modern era.

The talk will look at the role of Woburn Safari Park in these elements and how we form part of a global conservation programme. 


  • Pupils will have an understanding of what conservation means and how zoos and safari parks play a vital role in conserving species from across the globe.

  • They will understand why zoos continue to exist and the important role they have in breeding programmes, education on endangered species, and research on all aspects of animal behaviour.

Curriculum Links

Science (KS3)

  • Relationships in an ecosystem

Science (KS4)

  • How scientific ideas developed historically and understanding the challenges facing society
  • Ecosystems
  • Evolution, inheritance, and variation

Geography (KS3)

  • Place knowledge
  • Interactions and influence of humans on the natural environment

Geography (KS4)

  • Interactions and influences of humans on the natural environment
  • Global ecosystems and biodiversity – Sustainability

History (KS3)

  • Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901
  • A local history study

History (KS4)

  • The study of the historic environment: Focussing on one particular site in its historical context