A recent post at Seth Godin’s blog reminded me of an idea we had discussed a few weeks ago. Zoos and aquariums often have signs that give some basic information on the species of the animals they house, but almost never any information the actual animals themselves. You will only see it done now for major attractions like pandas, and I wouldn’t expect it for every prarie dog or lobster, but I think it could be done much more often.
In this day of easy and on-demand printing, it seems like it would not be a big effort to put up a little placard for each one. The names, birthdates, and birthplace of the animals, with a picture and perhaps some notes on the lineage or personality of the animals would make the whole experience much more engaging, and I might even say that it would boost donations or visitor involvement. This information exists, and you can get it if you opt to bother the staff, but they are always very busy and do most of their work before and after visitor hours.
This could even be taken to a new level if the information is online, editable by volunteers in a wiki-esque format and available as news feeds or email alerts when something happens involving your favorite/sponsored critters.