By David Grazian
Orangutans swing from Kevlar-lined hearth hoses. Giraffes banquet on celebratory birthday brownies crowned with carrots rather than candles. Hi-tech dinosaur robots growl between metal timber, whereas owls watch lively cartoons on outdated tv units. In American Zoo, sociologist David Grazian takes us on a safari in the course of the modern zoo, alive with its many contradictions and unusual wonders.
Trading in his tweed jacket for a zoo uniform and a couple of muddy paintings boots, Grazian introduces us to zookeepers and animal rights activists, mom and dad and children, and the opposite human primates that make up the zoo's social global. He indicates that during an important shift clear of their unlucky pasts, American zoos this day emphasize naturalistic shows teeming with lush and immersive landscapes, breeding courses for endangered animals, and enrichment actions for his or her captive creatures. In doing so, zoos blur the imaginary barriers we frequently use to split tradition from nature, people from animals, and civilization from the wild. whilst, zoos deal with a barren region of competing priorities--animal care, schooling, medical learn, and recreation--all whereas trying to function facilities for conservation within the wake of the present environmental and climate-change drawback. the area of the zoo displays how we venture our personal prejudices and needs onto the animal state, and make investments nature with which means and sentiment.
A revealing portrayal of comedian animals, thrilled young ones, and feisty zookeepers, American Zoo is a outstanding close-up exploration of a vintage cultural allure.
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Additional info for American Zoo: A Sociological Safari
While thin electric cables, or “hot wires,” can seem practically invisible even at close range, they are no panacea, and only most obviously because electric shocks can be hazardous and painful to zoo creatures. In fact, they often do not work at all, as thick-skinned animals such as rhinoceroses can withstand their high voltages. In one instance, chimpanzees in a New Mexico facility seemed oblivious to the hot current produced by an electrified fence, while an orangutan at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo appeared entertained as an electrified windowpane sent shocks coursing through its arms.
With spring in the air, Metro Zoo keepers once sprayed a donated sixty-dollar bottle of Trésor in Love eau de parfum by Lancôme on the insides of a coati’s enclosure. Enrichment also involves employing strategic animal management practices that provide mental stimulation while discouraging stereotypic behaviors, as in the aforementioned example of providing novel foraging opportunities for gorillas. One autumn morning before visitors arrived, Metro Zoo animal keepers served the zoo’s two gray wolves a freshly killed deer carcass shot by a local bowman, thus providing the carnivorous canines an opportunity to experience predatory behaviors while in captivity.
You’re purposely feeding the guest incorrect information. . We’ll do shows where you talk a lot about a lot of the specifics of breeding without actually talking about sex. I did a Mother’s Day show about animal moms. When you talk about marsupials, it gets harder and harder to explain what a marsupial is without explaining its birth. . And then the Father’s Day show is even harder to do. . 49 At City Zoo, the turtles and tortoises that resided in the reptile exercise yard were probably the most notorious public exhibitionists on display—so much so that the zoo’s educational staff specifically instructed its volunteers to respond to curious children using strategies of misdirection and evasion, along with a litany of fun animal facts.
American Zoo: A Sociological Safari by David Grazian