Captivity: Designing Enclosures for Zoo Animals

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But the immersion of human into animal space remains its big idea, and Givskud hopes to show the way to the zoological future. As it turns out, the idea of immersion of the human spectator into the animal world is quite an old one, dating back at least as far as , when German entrepreneur Carl Hagenbeck opened Tierpark Hagenbeck in Hamburg, which used moats to break down barriers — not so far from the ideas mooted for Zootopia, which have included log piles and bamboo screening.

But while it has been diluted, Zootopia has already caused fractious debate, on one hand criticised as a Truman Show -like fake, on another, hailed as a way to push forward a beleaguered format. And of course spectacle will find its way in there, because after all, we love to look at animals. But given that zoos are likely to remain with us, why stop there?

For example, you could create smaller giraffes. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?


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Captive Care and Management (Part II) - Scientific Foundations of Zoos and Aquariums

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What we need to do is stop breeding these animals and work on conserving the species in the wild. Arizona State University's Ben Minteer says that the public has little idea about the reality of running a zoo. We want zoos to be these bucolic, peaceful, beautiful, deathless environments.

Zoochosis - The living conditions of animals in captivity

I'm not sure the public really understands the backstage reality of managing animal populations in zoos and I think there's a sense of wanting it both ways, of wanting zoos to be very natural, very real. It must be said that today there's an enormous gap between the worst and the best zoos, between aquariums that still, for example, display killer whales and dolphins, and zoos like the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which focuses exclusively on the interpretation of the natural history, plants and animals of its region, the Sonoran Desert.

And, despite the occasional bad press, zoos remain a popular form of entertainment and recreation. Wildlife documentaries do an amazing job of filling an hour with animals all over the place but when people go to the actual "wild", they struggle because they don't actually see animals at every turn. I think that zoos are filling a kind of need that people have.

This [series episode segment] has image, and transcript. It's unfortunate that this story ended on an inaccurate and self-sewrving quote from Nigel Rothfels, whose entire career is human-centric. Having animals in zoos is not a "need".

Inverted Zoo: Enclosure-Free Design Puts Animals in the Open

I get that author Keri Phillips was scrambling for some kind of ending, but what a weak solution. This story continues to perpetuate the cruel tradition of zoos, when the reality is that technology has rendered zoos antiquated and unnecessary. Anyone who wants to see wild animals can do so in a second. It's a disappointing and oddly uncurious story that reinforces the status quo.

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Sunday 12pm Repeated: Wednesday 1. Presented by Annabelle Quince and Keri Phillips. Image: One of the only photographs of a Quagga, a sub-species of zebra, taken at London Zoo in the mids. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons. Image: Adelaide Zoo's female panda Funi. The zoo is helping to save the panda by participating in a breeding program Peter Hayward; Flickr.

Surprisingly, there is evidence that the origins of the modern day zoo are linked to ancient times. In , what appears to be the oldest royal menagerie was found in Hierakonopolis, Egypt, dating back to BC. Alexander the Great is known to had captured exotic animals and had them sent to Greece, which had zoos in major cities by the 4th century AD. Similarly, the Roman Empire is known to have kept such animals for study or entertainment. Presence of species-typical behaviors : in other words, the animal performs behaviors that it might have if it lived in the wild.

A monkey climbs, a cheetah scent-marks, a bird preens.

The presentation of positive behaviors, rather than just the reduction of negative ones, is a relatively new concept to animal welfare, but one that is being implemented in many zoos, labs, and even farms around the world. Firstly, this is impossible even for the best captive situations. Secondly, what ideal wild conditions even are is not something easily defined. Consider, again, the wild axolotl: I am certainly not trying to mimic their polluted, drained wild habitat in my tanks.

I am also not introducing their natural predators, parasites, competitors, and et cetera, even though that, too, would be more appropriately wild.


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  7. The lives of wild and captive animals are very different- arguably, one is not objectively better than the other. Many wild animals have absolutely miserable- and short- lives. The largest of these differences is that most of the stresses placed on wild animals occur in temporary bursts followed by a period of relaxation.

    For example, a lioness goes hungry for several days, causing her great stress, but then makes a kill and is satiated for a good 48 hours. The impala that the lioness chased, on the other hand, are temporarily highly stressed at her pursuit over the course of those days, but have the opportunity to come down from that anxiety each time she feeds or gives up the hunt.

    Neither predator anxiety or hunger should theoretically be a major source of stress for a captive animal. Instead of brief bursts of intense stress, captive animals suffer from low, constant levels of chronic stress. One of the biggest concerns in captive animal welfare, then, is actually nearly invisible to us- this is why, again, I frown on short-term visual assessments as a good means of assessing welfare. Chronic stress is hard to measure accurately, especially in non-mammals whose needs and body language are less familiar to us.

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    This is another reason why it is good to look for the presence of positive i. Animals under constant low levels of stress will often put their energy into vigilance or hiding behaviors- appearing as though they are not doing anything for long stretches of time. Of course, the caveat to all this is that you need to have some understanding of what constitutes a suite of normal, species-typical behaviors for the animal in question, and in many cases this is difficult to impossible to obtain. In some cases, we are lucky enough to have extensive observations of wild animal behavior. So this long-term lounging behavior is actually a positive sign for their welfare.

    This includes many species of birds, reptiles, fish, and amphibians. Those trying to care for these animals in captivity are then left with guesswork as to what their normal behavioral suite looks like, based on, say, what they might know about the behavior of closely-related animals, or those in similar niches. It is not a perfect solution by any means. Pet owners, I feel, are some of the worst offenders as far as misunderstanding the wild behavioral suites of their animals go.

    You should not buy any animal, ever, without knowing where it came from and what it does to make a living. With all that said, the best animal enclosures will work to provide opportunities for species-typical behavior while minimizing chronic stressors.