Zoos and public health: A partnership on the One Health frontier

Elsevier, One Health, Volume 3, June 2017, Pages 1-4
Authors: 
C. Robinette, L. Saffran, A. Ruple, S.L. Deem

Today, accredited zoos are not just places for entertainment, they are actively involved in research for conservation and health. During recent decades in which the challenges for biodiversity conservation and public health have escalated, zoos have made significant changes to address these difficulties. Zoos increasingly have four key areas of focus: education, recreation, conservation, and research. These key areas are important in addressing an interrelated global conservation (i.e. habitat and wildlife loss) and public health crisis. Zoo and public health professionals working together within a One Health framework represent a powerful alliance to address current and future conservation and public health problems around the world. For researchers, practitioners, and students, the collaboration between zoos and public health institutions offers the opportunity to both teach and operationalize this transdisciplinary approach. Using examples from our programs, we give a template for moving forward with collaborative initiatives and sustainable solutions involving partners in both zoos and public health institutions. We provide examples of cooperative programs and suggest a model for consideration in the development of further activities in this area.