Zoo facilities have been a mainstay of tourism since the late mid 20th century. Typically operating in major cities to bring city dwellers and tourists to observe wildlife they’re surrounded by the artificially constructed environment for the comfortability of the audience and its safety. Zoos have been wrestling with ethic dilemmas regarding the nature of its business model and if it constitutes more of an education, entertainment, or conservation aims.

Rather than sticking to using enclosing concrete spaces with a thick glass separating the animal from its audience, some zoos are located outdoors as open fields with spacious fencing to keep the animal. Safari parks are an example of this approach which affords more comfortable living conditions for the animals closer to their actual habitat. In safari park the zoogoers are driven through the park and watch the animals from their vehicle. Some zoos even let passengers feed the animal through the windows in a supervised manner.

Zoos remain one of the most visited facilities for tourists until this day, hence why zoo tourism is a notable branch of tourism. Reason for visiting ranges from entertainment to educational with even scientific reasons for professional biologists. 

Zoos nowadays set time aside to focus on educating zoogoers on animal conservation and the importance of preserving different wildlife species. Some zoos also encourage the breeding of captive endangered species with varying degrees of success.

The fusion between a zoo and a theme park comes in the form of animal theme parks of which SeaWorld would be the perfect example. Additionally, to housing the animals for exhibition, they are also trained to perform daily for the audience in elaborate shows that demonstrate just how tame and skillful they can become through proper training.