By David Grazian
Orangutans swing from Kevlar-lined fireplace hoses. Giraffes ceremonial dinner on celebratory birthday muffins crowned with carrots rather than candles. Hi-tech dinosaur robots growl between metal timber, whereas owls watch lively cartoons on previous 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 tots, and the opposite human primates that make up the zoo's social global. He indicates that during a tremendous 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 often use to split tradition from nature, people from animals, and civilization from the wild. whilst, zoos deal with a desert 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 venture our personal prejudices and needs onto the animal state, and make investments nature with that means and sentiment.
A revealing portrayal of comedian animals, thrilled young children, and feisty zookeepers, American Zoo is a outstanding close-up exploration of a vintage cultural allure.
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Additional resources for American Zoo: A Sociological Safari
27 Likewise, although moats can prevent certain kinds of animal escapes, they sometimes cannot stop feral creatures from encroaching into zoo animals’ living spaces. At Metro Zoo, bald eagles enjoy an open-air exhibit, since as injured birds rescued from the wild, they pose few flight risks. On the other hand, regional flocks of wild black vultures regularly swoop into their cageless enclosure to pilfer the eagles’ carefully calibrated rations of meat prepared by keepers. In such cases, the distinction the zoo makes between captive and free birds of prey obviously means very little to the birds themselves.
Natural cracks and crannies aren’t the only places animals live under the wharf. Castoff junk provides hiding places for so many creatures. An old shoe, rusty can or bottle sometimes becomes a fringehead’s home. ] Tucked snugly into the junk with just his head poking out, a male guards his castle, ready to charge at trespassers. 58 Much of that drifting debris concentrates around five major garbage patches, accumulations of bath toys, tires, polystyrene foam containers, bags, bottles, and other waste that oceanic winds, currents, and tides draw together in swirling masses of trash.
NatureMaker truly sees the forest for the trees. Steel trees help zoos simulate environments that neither elephants, rhinoceroses, orangutans, nor gorillas can easily destroy, all while saving on expenses such as pest control, irrigation, and drainage. Yet as noted above, nature makers must protect plantings from not only powerful animals, but basic climate and weather patterns as well. Again, zoos frequently display animals from all over the world, yet the plants indigenous to their native habitats simply cannot survive outdoors in zoos located in inappropriate biogeographical environments.
American Zoo: A Sociological Safari by David Grazian