The Importance Of Animal Containment

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people that we are the imperial species- that we are entitled to trap animals, remove them from their worlds and imprison them within ours.” (Ibid: 107). However, alongside the social developments in regards to the containment of animals, there have also been physical changes that appear to mirror the collective beliefs of the time. In the late nineteenth century Hagenbeck made substantial developments surrounding zoo enclosures. He is perhaps the most crucial figure in the evolvement of animal containment, and feasibly played a key role in the advancement of animal welfare in general within zoos. Hagenbeck no longer wanted to see animals in bare, sterile cages but wished to exhibit animals “not as captives, confined within narrow spaces and looked at between bars, but as free to wander from place to place within as large limits as possible.” (Hosey, Melfi &Pankhurst, 2004: 23). This allowed the personality of the animals to be explored and recognised, with collections no longer “presented on taxonomic lines” but “collections representing the fauna of regions of the world, such as the African savannah or the Artic.” (Ibid: 23). This represents a stark move from the cages found within the ‘disinfectant era’, Hosey notes that “for a period of time, form came before function and the animal’s needs often came a very poor second to architectural impact.” (Ibid: 25). In modern zoos we certainly see great importance placed upon the design and aesthetics of animal enclosures. This perhaps signals a shift towards a greater desire to pander to the natural instincts of exotic animals, or can also be seen as materialistic hollow changes that do nothing more than soothe society’s visual concerns in regards to the imprisonment of animals. Mulla... ... middle of paper ... ...elevant to insist zoos provide educational and recreational opportunities for humans, or that captive animals serve as useful models in scientific research… or that any other consequence arises from keeping wild animals in captivity that forwards the interest if other individuals.” (Malamud, 1998: 3). To conclude, I believe that contemporary zoos may appear on the surface to be playing a role in conservation and education, but this is simply an elaborate artifice allowing us to indulge an entertainment industry that has possessed the same values for thousands of years. In regards to my opening statement “Without seeing a zebra, you can’t learn the letter Z,” I respond by saying that the zebra you see in the zoo is not an accurate reflection, it is a creature controlled and dominated by human nature, and is ultimately “an expression of power.” (Bishop, 2004: 107).
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