Zoo visitor experience - perceived learning, knowledge and attitude at a wolf enclosure in Sweden

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

Abstract: There is a great deal of knowledge about the factors that influences peoples’ learning and knowledge. But how zoos should pursue their educational goal of the public to accomplish them by increase visitors knowledge and create positive attitudes towards wildlife and conservation seems both little assessed and understood. This study provides results about visitors zoo experience and perceived learning as knowledge and attitude towards wolves (Canis lupus) and the Swedish wolf population. The majority of the participants stated that they learned something new from the visit as well as that they had a satisfying overall experience at the wolf enclosure. Most visitors also had a good knowledge about wolves and the Swedish wolf population and a positive attitude towards their existence and conservation in Sweden. However, more research is necessary to assess zoos impact on visitors knowledge and attitude as well as their ability to meet their educational goals. Future research questions could be to further study zoo visitors’ experiences associations with learning outcome. As well as how zoos educational goals are met considering people under the age of 18. Another area to focus on could be the research on the connection between knowledge, attitude and intention to act regarding conservation of species.

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