Zoo Outreach Organization &
Wildlife Information Liaison Development


ZOO's Educator Network ZEN

Zoo Outreach Organization is running its own educator's network named ZOO's Educator Network ZEN and the member represents from all South Asian countries.  The total members are 255 at present.

Zoo Outreach Organization is a member of WAZA and is guided by WAZA principles.  WAZCS enjoins all zoos and aquariums to support the protection of wildlife in the wild in any meaningful way possible for them regardless of their size or budget. For some zoos, the most immediate and meaningful way to support protection of wildlife and its habitat is through education. WZACS also makes a strong argument for zoos partnering with other organizations to enhance our effectiveness in protecting wildlife and habitat.   We use CPSG workshops such as Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (CAMP) and Population and Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA) to gather and assess information, which we use for education.

Z.O.O. and W.I.L.D. host several important IUCN groups, taxonomically-themed international NGO's, focused on the more neglected, highly specise taxon groups, such as  Invertebrates, Amphibians, Reptiles, Bats, Rodents and Insectivores, and Primates.

ZOO's Educator Network ZEN develops much educational material for all target groups; making use of scientific facts about species and their habitats from workshops we conduct involving indigenous scientists. Due to postage and customs costs, we supply the bulk of these materials to Indian educators, but take every opportunity to load visitors from the zoos in South Asia with materials to take back.  We also send samples of everything to all in the region and give permission for them to use it as they require, in translation, modified more to their country, culture etc.  

To know more about How ZEN works

To see ZOO's Educator Network ZEN Members Directory

Supply of Education materials
Zoo Outreach Organization develops and distributes education materials to its education network members and others during Earth Day, World Environment Day, Wildlife Week and other special occasions free.

To view the World Environment Day 2015 invitation

To see our current Education Reports published in ZOO's PRINT

To see some previous Educators Training Programme Reports
Pollinator! not just bees!
Bat Education 2012
Year of the Bat 2011
Frogs are part of Biodiversity!
Bears, Forests and Biodiveristy
Report on Linking Wildlife Conservation and Wildlife Welfare
Report on Getting along with Elephants Educator Workshops held in Tamil Nadu and Thailand
Educator Skills Training Programmes on Bears held in Van Vihar National Park and Bannerghatta Biological Park

The following report is a bit about each country in our region:

Kabul Zoo has an Education Officer, who conducts tours, classes, school programmes and outreach visits.  Mohammed Fazil, the former education officer, had attended several training courses and meetings conducted by Zoo Outreach Organization.  The new education officer Najibullah Nazary came to India in 2010 for training and he was trained by ZOO staff and visited few South Indian Zoos to know much more about the education activities run by the Indian zoos.

There are about nine zoos in Bangladesh of which two have some systematic education programme or facilities.  The Dulahazara Safari Park has a museum, interpretation center and nicely painted bus to take visitors around, as well as some handout literature. The Dhaka Zoo serves as a training center for all the zoos, very kindly inviting all of them to any useful training programme conducted at the zoo.  For the past 3-4 years, ZOO has been conducting informal programmes there for several zoos.   

There is one mini-zoo in Bhutan with only one zoo officer.  He gives information to visitors when asked and sees to signage.  ZEN provides him with some educational material to use when he speaks to school groups and other public functions.

Sri Lanka
All Zoological institutions in Sri Lanka come under the Department of National Zoological Gardens - Sri Lanka (DNZG). The Government of Sri Lanka created a Ministry of Zoological and Botanical Gardens.  Under this Ministry there are better opportunities for progressive ideas and actions.  In the same year the zoo was awarded posts for 30 scientists graduates and post Graduates from the University, of which 12 are being utilized as educators.  This is a singular event in the world of which the entire South Asia is proud!  ZOO has been invited to conduct a zoo educator training for them specifically to train in planning programmes, events and give presentations.

Central Zoo is the only real zoo in Nepal  and, as such an excellent platform for conservation education.  The zoo has an audience of over a million visitors a year, mostly from rural areas.  They run 2 kinds of conservation education programes, those for members of the highly successful (17,000 members) Friends of the Zoo FOZ and walk-in visitor programmes. The zoo has networked over 150 school of Kathmandu valleys, establishing  Eco clubs in 40 of these schools.  FOZ programmes include elaborate functions and even trips to wild areas.  Visitor programmes include guides for school groups booking in advance, handouts, interpretation center, etc.  The zoo also conducts teacher-training programmes frequently.  In 2000 ZOO conducted an 8 day regional zoo educator training course at Nepal for zoos of South Asia, and in 2003 assisted in a two-day training for teachers.  In 2008 ZOO conducted Amphibian Conservation Educator Skills Training at the zoo for zoo staff and teachers.  With the support of Central Zoo, ZOO conducted three teachers training workshops of Human Elephant Coexistence HECx workshops in which education staff from the zoo and other educators from all over Nepal participated.

Pakistan has about 26 wild animal facilities of which two have education programmes, Karachi Zoo and Lahore Zoo.  Karachi Zoo conducts special visitor programmes with the schools on special days appropriate to celebrating wildlife.  They have a well-furnished museum and facilities for group functions in their Mogul Garden. 

Lahore Zoo runs a number of programmes and conducts evaluation for knowing the impact of their education and training programmes with comparative assessments, surveys and questionnaires, observation of visitor's behavior, donation records and response to pledges and petitions as well as record of media coverage and  teacher feedback on formal programme.  Bushra Khan, Lecturer, Punjab University and Volunteer Educator is the Education Representative for the ZOO's Educator Network ZEN.

India has 159 zoos all of which come under the auspices of the Central Zoo Authority.  Over half a dozen zoos now have education cells and close to a dozen posts for education officer.  In India the Central Zoo Authority has formed a Steering Committee to prepare a protocol for zoo education, with Master Plan guidelines, Visitor survey protocol and other helpful material.  The CZA also runs zoo educator training workshops every two years.  The renowned Centre for Environmental Education, the nodal government specialist on environmental education is the focal point and coordinator for this important activity.  Zoo Outreach Organization / ZEN assisted over 200 zoos and other organisations and individuals to conduct education in zoos and other public venues with our packets, posters, report summaries, drama kits, t-shirts, etc.  In 2011, ZOO distributed 15000 items of education materials on Climate Change (Live More Simply), amphibians, bat, bear, Lion-tailed macaque posters, special kits on World Environment Day 2011 themed Green Economy: Does it include you? and Drama kits on bears.