Animal Studies Bibliography
Croke, Vicki. 1997. The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos, Past, Present and Future. New York: Scribner.
As humans become increasingly estranged from nature, the zoo provides a venue for us to link souls with wildness (14), but we must provide our captive wildlife (13) a full range of natural behaviors. [There is a contradiction in Croke's argument, as she notes that we must save their place in the web of life rather than just as cells on petri dishes (observed cells) -- just as animals are observed in zoos.]
The value of zoos: Zoos can rescue besieged wildlife through education, conservation and reproduction. Wildlife documentaries show animals in their natural environments, and zoos cannot compete with slick, quick-cut nature programs, which race from birth to sex to gory death ... But good zoos today can carve out a niche that fits intelligently into the spectrum of people's experience (17). We can't save huge numbers of animals now but we can save their genetic material to revitalize future generations (17). Zoos have a large amount of information critical to helping animals in the wild, and conservationists and field biologists need zoos to help them managing wild populations.
The new concept of zoos: The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a wealthy and savvy zoo organization now distances itself from the dark, sad concept of the old zoo (19) wants to present itself as a scientifically advanced organization working to understand and preserve nature.
Zoo/exhibit redesign (to enhance the whole animal, with free spaces, things to play with and vegetation and which has been successful because breeding is on the rise in these new enclosures) is aimed primarily at the zoogoer. Creating an Illusion and the Greening of Zoos: Jungle scenes on zoo walls, painted for the benefit of visitors, have fooled giraffes who have been observed to try to eat leaves off painted trees and to lick leaves clean from painted murals. In many exhibits there are electrical hot wires protecting live trees or bushes from the animals. Evidence that the redesign of zoos is first and foremost for the visitor, not the animal, is behind the scenes ... at the night cages ... no bubbling brooks, no potted palms with or without hard-to-see zap wires ... where all that cement and steel went (79).
Technology is used to bring people back to nature: artificial vines, fiberglass trees, gunite boulders, protective zap wires, fake metal leaves used to fill out vegetation. We are deluded into believing that cement and plastic trees create a habitat, and some exhibits made entirely of artificial materials are called zoo habitats (81).
Early Zoo history: Ownership and display of exotic animals was proof of one's wealth and mastery of nature (128). The first animal park was on the royal estate of the third Ur dynasty in Mesopotamia (around 2094 b.c.). The true start of zoos was more than 1000 b.c. in Egypt. Exocit animals (lions, baboons, bulls, snakes, hippos, crocodiles) were considered holy ad pharaohs sought strange creates through expeditions. Both men and women royalty collected animals. In China, around 1100 b.c. during the Zhou dynasty, a scientific zoo (the Garden of Intelligence) was created, abouty 1,500 acre walled preserve, considered a sacred place (perhaps used as a hunting park), bu Sarah Queen (Chinese historian) noted that animals were also believed to facilitate communication between the human and spiritual realms (13). By 186 b.c. wild animals began to be imported for gaming in Rome, and Officials gained popularity from the public by staging ever-more bizarre and savage games that involved humans and animals (132). In 106 a.d., Trajan held games over 4 months which killed 10,000 gladiators and 11,000 animals (about one hundred animals were killed per day, according to Jeremy Cherfas in Zoo 2000 ) (133). Menageries existed as bullpens holding animals to be farmed for slaughter. Constantine (first Christian emperor of Rome) ended the games, but Justinian brought them back in the 6th century and they flourished into the 12th century.
The first American zoo was probably the Philadelpha Zoo created in 1859. The New York Zoological Society is the leader of American zoos in conservation. Carl Hagenbeck, an animal supplier and showman, opened the first zoo without bars in 1907 in Hamburg, Germany. He not only imported animals (an exclusive supplier to Barnum), when the demand for animals faded he moved to importing exotic humans (importing a group of Lapps complete with skis and reindeer, Eskimos, Buddhist priests) around 1880.
Keeping a well-stocked zoo meant capture and importation ... For every animal reaching a U.S. zoo, scores of others perished in the process (156) usually adults countless of whom were slaughtered to collect the offspring. The demand for exotic animals grew as zoological gardens, circuses and travelling menageries sprang up in Europe and America. Once at the zoo, animals often died within a few days from exhaustion, stress and diet. In 1800s, it was almost impossible to keep a gorilla alive in captivity in part because of the food we fed them: Wilfrid Blunt noted that ration at one zoo consisted of two sausages and a pint of beer in the morning, followed later in the day by cheese sandwiches, boiled potatoes and mutton, and more beer (16).
Change in the 1960s with the emergence of Nature Programs: Television nature programs such as Wild Kingdom began a grassroots interest in wildlife and conservation. At this time, zoos saw that captive breeding was better to collecting, morally and financially.
In summary, The true benchmarks of zoo history (are) ... the creation of the earliest zoos, the marriage of husbandry and science in Alexandria, the scientific perspective of the Jardin des Plantes, the scholarly purpose of the London Zoo and its popularity with the paying public, Hagenbeck's developing of naturalistic exhibits (162).
Problems with captive breeding: inbreeding was not successful, and attempts to bring good genetic material (164) from outside was stunted by competition. The Species Survival Plan created in 1980, assists zoos in saving individual species (super-ovulating females, embryo implantation, forced ejaculation). The frozen zoo now emerging is a large embryo bank and represents nine species of exotic animals that can be successfully frozen and thawed, with more species in the bank but their viability is unknown. The SSP works to save animals in their natural habitats -- in situ as well as ex situ (174).
Subspecies Soup: (subspecies of tiger, i.e., Bali, Caspian, Javan, thick-furred Siberian -- animals in a species that may look different (have a different phenotype) usually because of geographic distribution -- they can inbreed and produce fertile offspring). We have some choices: maintain each separate subspecies, help only one subspecies, or combine them in a subspecies soup. Bob Truett said that we must forget about subspecies -- There is a strange human urge to classify. There is an even stranger academic imperative to write papers. These two phenomena ... result in the human creation known as the subspecies (188).
Some gorillas are reluctant to breed with one another, and perhaps there is some sort of race differences among gorillas that we do not recognize but which they do ... Koko ... reviewed tapes of potential mates and had strong reactions, negative and positive, to the males she saw (189).
Reintroduction of species back into the wild has met with mixed success. Oryx (gazelle) reintroductions have been successful, but not attempts to reintroduce orangutans or a chimp (Lucy) who lived ten miserable years after reintroduction to Gambia. It is a glorious dream to release robust captive animals back into the wild, but all too easily, through misguided humanity,' that dream can turn into a nightmare (196).
Zoos can save more biodiversity than any other private organization. The zoo must preserve wildlife and nature. Zoos have not embrased the demographic that has made ecotourism and retailers such as the Nature Company so profitable (247).
The New Zoo: is connected -- to the wild, to other humans and to a kind ethic of conservation and care (247). There will be few elephants, polar bears or gorillas. There will be fewer animals with more space. Zoos will abandon the idea that to care for certain species we must be able to see them. Rowan said, it is much more likely that the zoogoer will care for elephants, not from seeing ... one at the local zoo' but from watching them on TV or reading about them in books (247). Max Frisch said, technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man does not have to experience it (248). The new zoo uses technology to make connections between the center city and the heart of the wild, with people interacting with the environment through satellite links. Sensoriums (virtual-reality technology) allows visitors to link with animal images and see the world from the perspective of the animal (i.e., fruit bats or spiders). Huge theater screens can take millions on virtual safari with little environmental impact. There will be no live animals on the grounds.
We should try to be stewards of animals, not jailers. We can prove our intelligence and wealth through our zoos, as in the past, but this will not be achieved by imprisoning sad and tired animals ... killing old animals ... driving species crazy with boredom ... (using) plastic enclosures molded into naturalness' ... We can enhance our status by doing the right thing: understanding and protecting nature for its own sake (253).