After 20 years Denver Zoo now has two cheetahs.
It is worth the wait. They are such magnificent creatures. I understand why many zoos do not have them. They are so endangered in the wild so accredited zoos, in the interest of conservation, only have zoo-born animals or those confiscated as illegally smuggled into our country. When I worked as a docent at our zoo I met many people who said, "Oh, I don't believe in keeping wild animals in cages." Most of these people have not visited an accredited zoo lately. Most zoos today go to elaborate lengths and expense to create animal-friendly habitats that meet the needs of the animal. Few are in "cages" and those few do not need more space and are there for their protection.
I like that the mission statement of The Denver Zoo reads that the purposes of the zoo are conservation, education and enjoyment. They always stressed that "people will not care about animals until they come to know them."
One of my favorite conservation programs of the Denver Zoo is called ZOOP! Click here to read about it.