In the past decades, zoos have increasingly developed into conservation and education centers. Due to their intensive environmental education efforts and their high visitor numbers each year, they make an important contribution to environmental education. In our research, we specifically investigate the influence of zoos on visitors' connection to nature and environmental attitudes.
Attitudes and nature connectedness are considered to be important factors positive influencing pro-environmental behavior and thus make a contribution to environmental protection. In different studies, using established measurement tools from environmental psychology, we were able to demonstrate that connection to nature can be positively influenced by a visit to the zoo and the participation in a zoo tour. By measuring connection to nature before and after guided zoo tours we discovered that especially people with a low level of connection to nature benefit from zoo tours. Environmental attitudes can also be positively affected by regular zoo visits.