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Celebrating 80 Years: Zoos in 1974

December 6, 2010 By: Melanie Gretchen

Lion Country Safari Will Have 'Petting Zoo' for ChildrenAs our ability to travel has been surpassed only by our curiosity, zoos might seem a bit obsolete. In 1974, the Kings Dominion-Lion Country Safari opened a three-mile preserve with access to approximately 100 types of birds and animals in Richmond, VA. The preserve was one of six, with more parks operating in West Palm Beach, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta and Cincinnati, for $3.50 per person, the Richmond branch featured a petting zoo where kids could get up close and personal with small domesticated animals. Behind the scenes, zoologists worked on a breeding program to increase the number of African species no longer surviving in their natural habitat. (Read the full article here.)

Although the low price of admission is indeed a thing of the past, zoos are nowhere near as threatened as the animals they protect. This past summer, the Honolulu Zoo launched nights tours, followed by its "Wildest Show in Town" summer concert series. San Jose's Happy Hallow park and zoo achieved LEED gold status, and the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo featured more than 100 species of indigenous Bermuda fish in ocean and reef environments, among them the 145,000-gallon North Rock exhibit. Halfway round the world, Ireland celebrated Halloween with the Dublin Zoo's Spooktacular Boo at the Zoo.

As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we're taking a look at what was happening in the industry in the past and asking agents to share their thoughts on what has changed in the industry in the present. Please share your thoughts by posting a comment below, writing us at our Facebook page, sending a tweet to our Twitter page or by engaging in a discussion in real time at AgentNation (the only social community online for all kinds of travel agents, which certainly wasn't around 80 years ago). We want to hear from you.

And while you're here, learn more about how we're celebrating eight decades of covering the travel industry for travel professionals.

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