There is a great and vastly untapped partnership potential between accredited zoos and aquariums and public health institutions. We are asking public health officials to foster this potential by partnering with their local zoos to help fight public health problems through education, conservation, recreation and research. For example, graduate and undergraduate public health programs should, like the Saint Louis Zoo and the University of Missouri – Columbia, develop collaborative training programs where students can learn, and research can be performed to further understand the health of humans, animals and the environment. Through education, conservation, recreation and research a partnership between public health and zoo personnel represents a fresh approach, and it is one adaptation that may provide the solutions necessary to address the changing public health and conservation challenges of our time.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.