Do zoos still have a place in society? If so, what is it? asks esteemed biologist Mary Bownes. When zoos first appeared they were zoological gardens, meant to show exotic animals to a public that would never otherwise have a chance to see them. Now that we have amazing TV wildlife programmes and relatively accessible international travel, do we really need zoos to focus on animals which are under threat of extinction? And how should zoos balance their conservation role against getting the paying visitors they need to keep going?