Many people living in cities have never truly seen a wild animal beyond a fox or pigeon. Yet to experience the sight and sound of an animal as spectacular as a tiger is one of the best ways to gain a real appreciation and respect for wildlife. Zoos and wildlife centres have long been offering us the best opportunities to meet and understand some of the most unique forms of life we share our world with. However, our world is changing fast. It's no exaggeration to say that across the globe animals and plants are becoming extinct almost every day! Some are at risk from pollution, many more from habitat loss and poaching, others from the predation and diseases of alien species introduced by humans.
One important function of the modern zoo is to support international breeding programs for endangered wildlife. Another is to educate people to protect animals and their habitats before our best chance of ever seeing something as spectacular as a tiger becomes our very last.