by David Hancocks
Zoos are fundamentally a contradiction, the author argues. Though they have the potential to educate visitors, most of the facilities remain cramped, sterile places where wild animals have no room to roam. The animals suffer from being out of their natural environments. Hancock calls for a reinvention of zoos that would recreate natural habitats and thus respect the animals' diversity. Deriding the human preoccupation with dominance over nature, and especially over other animals, the author describes the brutal treatment of animals from slaughters during Roman antiquity to some modern menageries that still inflict abhorrent conditions on captive animals. This book advocates an architectural redesign of zoos that would provide environments where animals can be protected and people can be educated about amazing creatures.
U CA Pr, 2001, 279 p., b&w; photos, hardcover
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Copyright 2001, Science Service