David Grazian's American Zoo: A Sociological Safari PDF

By David Grazian

ISBN-10: 0691164355

ISBN-13: 9780691164359

Orangutans swing from Kevlar-lined fireplace hoses. Giraffes banquet on celebratory birthday truffles crowned with carrots rather than candles. Hi-tech dinosaur robots growl between metal bushes, whereas owls watch lively cartoons on previous tv units. In American Zoo, sociologist David Grazian takes us on a safari during 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 tots, and the opposite human primates that make up the zoo's social international. He indicates that during an enormous shift clear of their unlucky pasts, American zoos this present day emphasize naturalistic indicates 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 study, and recreation--all whereas trying to function facilities for conservation within the wake of the present environmental and climate-change problem. the realm of the zoo displays how we undertaking our personal prejudices and wishes 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 amazing close-up exploration of a vintage cultural charm.

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This means not only that the exhibits resemble similar habitats, but also that there is little to no dissonance among exhibits—as there is at the Philadelphia Zoo, which displays Arctic polar bears within view of African giraffes and white rhinos. 40 Finally, the desert surroundings themselves are emphasized by the open-air nature of the zoo. This stands in contrast to many metropolitan zoos where tall trees and other plantings intentionally obscure sight lines to hide elements of the surrounding urban terrain, whether train lines or the tops of towering buildings.

17 Yet even under the most favorable of circumstances, nature makers run into difficulties when creating naturalistic zoo exhibits. Consider the design of animal enclosures. Most obviously, managing captive zoo animals requires the use of elaborate technologies designed to prevent escape, for the safety of both the animals as well as the public at large, and for good reason. 18 It also bears remembering that barriers not only keep zoo animals inside their enclosures, but also keep dangerous animals out, whether they be stray dogs, foxes, raptors, or even other escaped zoo animals.

Glass, obviously, is one of the best ways to do that. So a lot of thinking goes into it, as you can imagine. We hire glazing engineers, glass engineers that we say, “Okay, we have a four-hundred-pound gorilla that could be running at this thing at twenty miles an hour, can you help us out? ” Usually this exhibit’s glazing is several pieces of glass laminated together, so it may be two or Where the Wild Things Aren’t • 23 three (usually we don’t get above three layers), but those layers of glass can be anywhere from a quarter-inch thick to a half-inch more thick with a membrane in between them to help adhere it, and actually the membrane gives it a little bit of strength as well.

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American Zoo: A Sociological Safari by David Grazian


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