A virtual zoo is a new concept that uses the zoo model in a web format. Virtual zoos are basically websites that are created to simulate a visit to a zoo, and the visitors to these sites can view exhibits about animals and their habitats. Many Zoos as well as schools have developed virtual zoos. For example, instead of actual animals a virtual zoo will have articles and photos as exhibits. There are many virtual zoos that have been created; most are small and unremarkable, while some have hundreds of exhibits.
The first virtual zoo was created in 1994 by Ken Boschert, DVM. Boschert created his site as a way of informing people about animals and how to care for them. His site has been recognized by Education World and "Web 100".
The validity of virtual zoos have met with some resistance. However, many view virtual zoos as the way of the future for conservation. Zoos have faced ethical issues surrounding the capture and keeping of wild animals. Virtual zoos can provide information and experience without any disturbance to habits or ecosystems. According to Zoos Victoria, the stated purpose of a zoo is to be centers for wildlife experience, education, conservation and research. Virtual Zoos can contribute to these stated purposes, such as education and research, with little impact to animal life.
- "World Association of Zoos and Aquariums". WAZA. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
-  Archived June 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "Virtual Zoo - Zoo Home". Pioneerschooldistrict.org. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "The Electronic Zoo". Netvet.wustl.edu. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "World Association of Zoos and Aquariums - Animal Welfare & Ethics". WAZA. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
-  Archived May 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
Educational Virtual Zoos:
- "The Electronic Zoo"
- Zoobooks, Virtual Zoo
- "The Virtual Zoo"
- "The Wild Ones"
- "Mr. Crean's Virtual Zoo"
Selling Animal Products: