The Future of Zoos: Challenges Force Zoos to Change in Big Ways

For a mother escorting her kids through the Philadelphia Zoo, it was a close encounter of the ferocious kind. Directly in front of her as she strolled down the zoo’s main walkway was a Siberian tiger, a 400-plus-lb. carnivore capable of tearing apart a wild antelope. But rather than panic, the family laughed. The tiger was out of its lair, but its pathway was at a safe, meshed-in distance from onlookers, and after a few moments of looking around, the tiger moved on.

The tiger’s trail, dubbed Big Cat Crossing, is part of a bigger initiative called Zoo360 that has changed the way humans and animals experience the nation’s oldest zoo. There’s no question the experience is compelling for the humans. On a recent visit, I watched children drop their lunches in awe of white-faced saki monkeys hanging out in the trees. I witnessed one couple stop midconversation when a gorilla lumbered overhead, and saw more than a few families startled by the appearance of a large cat that seemed eerily close to them. But the bigger impact of Zoo360, says its chief operating officer, Andrew Baker, may be its effort to transform the experience of animals in captivity.

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Zoo to Use Frozen Cells of Dead Animals to Bring Endangered Species Back From the Brink of Extinction

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Drill monkeys are on the brink of extinction.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and San Diego Zoo have collaborated to create stem cells from the skin cells a dead drill monkey, an endangered monkey native to Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Cameroon.

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Beijing Zoo Restaurant Serves Hippopotamus, Crocodile

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Hungry Hippos vs Hungry For Hippos

Most of the time, the image of a zoo is one of animal protection and education. However, the Beijing zoo has expanded this ‘education’ to include the culinary aspects of some of the more exotic animals housed therein.

For about 20-200 dollars, visitors to the Bin Feng Tang restaurant can sample hippo, scorpion, peacock, shark fin, kangaroo tail, or deer penis!

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Indian Zoo To Put Its Stuffed Dead Animals On Display

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Death is just the beginning…

The only zoo in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) plans to stuff its animals after their deaths and put them on show in a museum, officials say.

The move follows a ban by India’s central zoo authority on new animals being kept in confined spaces.

Mumbai zoo says it is unable to replace animals as they die because existing enclosures for some animals do not conform with anti-cruelty guidelines.

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Chimpcam Project – Chimpanzee’s Shoot Their Own Movie

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Whether or not you subscribe to the infinite monkey theorem (although you might like to know that Frooch is a Bonobo, Pete Pachal a Silverback, Charlie a Rhesus, and Leslie and I both Orang-utans — we spend our weekends picking bugs out of each other’s coats and eating them) at least be grateful that this post has nothing to do with today’s Apple event. The powers that be at Edinburgh Zoo devised a research project that involved giving 11 of the zoo’s chimpanzees a sturdy camcorder and letting them become cineastes for an 18-month period. (video)

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Rare White Bengal Tiger Born Without Stripes

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Fareeda and her siblings were born on Christmas Day last year, and you can see Fareeda’s rare lack of markings

A snow white Bengal tiger has become the first of its kind to exist in the wild today after being born without stripes.  The six-month-old cub is so rare it is thought there are fewer than 20 tigers like her alive in the world – all in captivity.

 

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Zoo’s Fascinating Art Installation Shows Scenes Of Ecological Nightmares

Zoo’s Fascinating Art Installation Shows Scenes Of Ecological Nightmares

Vienna’s Schonbrunn Zoo

Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna is host to a fascinating series of temporary art installations by Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf. In one animal enclosure, the German duo have half-submerged a car in a watering hole used by the resident rhinos. In another enclosure, penguins frolic in the shadow of an oil pump, and in yet another, alligators must share their modest bayou with a bathtub and a monster truck tire. (Pics)

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