Why are zoos so popular?

   Keeping wild animals in zoos, or zoological gardens, is an old practice. But today zoos seem more popular than ever. Each year more people in North America go to zoos than to all the professional baseball, football, and basketball games combined.
   Why are zoos so popular? One reason may be that more people now live in cities and towns, where they see little wildlife. They seek places where they can have some contact with nature. And perhaps people sense that when they visit a zoo, they have the opportunity to see things they have never seen before. In many zoos, you can see more kinds of animals in a day than you might see in weeks of travel to faraway places.
   Zoos do much more than provide recreation, however. They teach people about the importance of nature. They provide scientists with opportunities to study wild animals. And they are also important because thou-sands of species of wild animals are in danger of dying out. Saving these endangered species is one of the purposes of modern zoos.