Hundreds of miles away from home, however, it's tougher to raise species for conservation. "Husbandry is always going to be challenging," says Iri Gill, a herpetologist at Zoological Society of London, to The Dodo. Zoo experts are at "the forefront of collecting microhabitat data," he says; changing the levels of ultraviolet light, for example, can mimic the environmental fluctuations in a native country, with the goal of improving an animal's captive surroundings.
But zoos, by their very nature, won't ever be able to perfectly represent an animal's habitat. Captive animals "will be denied their freedom and their ability to carry out some, if not most, of their natural behaviors," Tyson says. "Instead, seek out those projects working hard within the animals' natural home territory and support them directly."