A list of zoos in New Zealand, with photos! Whether they be petting zoos or wild animal parks, Kiwi zoos are a great family destination when traveling. A zoological park is a location where animals are kept in captivity for study and viewing. The zoo originally evolved from the menageries of the ancient world, in which royalty would exhibit their collection of exotic pets. These were hardly the scientific institutions we may find today. Unfortunately not all zoos are scientific in nature, and extreme controversy has arisen regarding how the animals are treated. Suffice to say, regulation is necessary to ensure proper care. Conservation (not exploitation) should always be the central goal behind any legitimate zoo.