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A zoo, or zoological garden, is a place where wild animals are cared for and exhibited to the public.

The first zoos were private menageries, usually belonging to kings. After the French Revolution, the Paris zoo was opened to the public.

Over time, the mission of zoos has shifted from simply displaying exotic animals, to breeding them, and in particular maintaining populations of animals that are endangered or even extinct in the wild.

Most modern zoos keep animals in naturalistic enclosures. These enclosures are large enough for the animals to exercise in, and to have some privacy. Zoo visitors occasionally find this frustrating, but overall the experience is improved both for the animals and for the people who come to see them. Many zoos now have special buildings for nocturnal animals, with dim red lighting during the day, so the animals will be active when visitors are there, and bright lights at night to ensure that they sleep.

See: List of zoos

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