Perhaps the question is so obvious that we seldom ask it: Why zoos? But wildlife journalist Vicki Croke provides answers in The Modern Ark
, a fascinating history of zoos, the animals they house, how they reflect changing attitudes, and what their future may be. Croke traveled widely to conduct prodigious reporting--interviewing humans and spending time with some amazing members of the animal kingdom--and she offers an enlightening look at zoos. Some of it is funny, some of it's disturbing. All of it is interesting.
From Library Journal
Unlike other recently published books (e.g., Michael Nichols's Keepers of the Kingdom, LJ 1/97) that have hailed the "conservation" efforts of zoos and their attempts to provide "naturalistic" habitat exhibits and cooperative "Species Survival Plans," Croke, who writes a syndicated "Animal Beat" newspaper column, takes a more critical and analytical look at these same efforts. Her work is sobering yet hopeful. Using examples from many of the nation's best, Croke illustrates how zoos are more a reflection of society than the animals on display. They are our link to the natural world. Croke traces the physical development of zoos and menageries from Greek and Roman times to the present?supporting her premise that how we keep animals and how we view them is a reflection of our societal value systems. This work is very entertaining, and Croke's educational points are well stated and understandable. A valuable addition to most natural history collections.?Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Wis.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.