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Wild Animals, Zoos, and You: The Influence of Habitat on Health (John Durant)
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Wild Animals, Zoos, and You: The Influence of Habitat on Health (John Durant)

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What do zoos teach us about human health? The history of wild animals in captivity teach us about species living outside their natural habitat, including the impact of diet and lifestyle factors on ...

What do zoos teach us about human health? The history of wild animals in captivity teach us about species living outside their natural habitat, including the impact of diet and lifestyle factors on longevity and chronic disease.

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Wild Animals, Zoos, and You: The Influence of Habitat on Health (John Durant) Wild Animals, Zoos, and You: The Influence of Habitat on Health (John Durant) Presentation Transcript

  • Wild Animals, Zoos, and You
    The influence of habitat on health
  • John Durant
    Hunter-Gatherer.com
    @JohnDurant
    Paleo NYC
    Barefoot Runners NYC
  • NYCBarefootRun.com
  • References
    Books
    A Different Nature by David Hancocks
    Zoo Animals: Behavior, Management, and Welfare by Hoesy, Melfi, Pankhurst
    Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin
    Wild Animals in Captivity by HeiniHediger

    Interviews
    Jon Coe (Jon Coe Designs)
    Kristin Lukas, Elena Less (Gorilla Species Survival Plan, Cleveland Zoo)
    Gary Lee (CLR Design)
    David Towne (Woodland Park Zoo)
    Ron Kagan (Detroit Zoo)
    Papers (various)
  • Humans do not live in zoos
  • Zoos teach us about removing animals from their natural habitat
    Longevity and mortality (extrinsic vs. intrinsic causes of mortality, lifespan, aging)
    Lifestyle factors and health (diet, movement, sun, social groupings, sleep, and chronic disease)
    The human element (cost, bureaucratic rules, conventional wisdom, commercial influences)
    A neutral approach to health (carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, insectivores, frugivores, predators, prey, warm-blooded, cold-blooded, animals, plants, etc.)
  • Outline
    Intro: Jumbo the Elephant
    A brief history of zoos
    Habitat design and health
    A neutral approach to health
    Close: The importance of zoos
  • Jumbo the Elephant(1860-1885)
  • Before Jumbo was jumbo
    1860-1861: Born, captured in Sudan
    ~1862: Bought by Paris Zoo (Ménagerie du Jardindes Plantes)
    ~1862-1865: Neglected and malnourished
    1865: Traded to the London Zoo, arrived in London covered in sores
  • 1870 – Siege of Paris
  • 1865–1882: Jumbo becomes jumbo
  • 1882 – P.T. Barnum buys Jumbo
  • 1882 – Jumbo arrives in New York
  • 1885 – Tragedy on the tracks
  • 1889 – The Tufts Jumbos
  • 1941 – Dumbo
  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Jumbo jet
  • Jumbo loans
  • JumboTron
  • Chanel “Jumbo grey” handbag
  • 1991 – Impacted molars
    “His unnatural diet, devoid of coarse grasses, leaves, and the roughage of bark, dirt, and roots, did not allow his molars to wear sufficiently quickly, and when his fifth pair erupted, they buckled and grew inward.”
    Source: Van Gelder, Richard G. (1991) A Big Pain, Natural History, 100: 22 in A Different Nature (Hancocks)
  • The Jumbo Diet™
    Daily
    200 lbs. of hay
    2 bushels of oats
    1 bushel of sweet biscuits
    15 loaves of bread
    3 quarts of onions
    Occasional
    Buckets of apples, oranges, figs, nuts, cakes, and candies
    “enthusiastically taken hefty swigs of whiskey”
    Source: Preston, D. J. (1983) Jumbo, king of elephants, Natural History, 92: 80–3 in A Different Nature (Hancocks)
  • Jumbo’s Story
    What is normal?
    What is the role of zoos?
    How do you keep wild animals healthy?
    How can zoos influence the popular imagination?
  • A Brief History of Zoos
  • Why?
    Entertainment
    Status
    Research
    Conservation
  • A 3-word history of humanity
    WILD
    AGRICULTURAL
    INDUSTRIAL
    Hunter-Gatherers
    Herder-Farmers
    Producer-Consumers
  • A brief history of wild animals in captivity
    AGRICULTURAL
    INDUSTRIAL
    WILD
    Royal Menageries
    Zoological Gardens
    none /
    small scale
  • Timeline
    WILD
    [small scale: trap, tame, domesticate]
    Agricultural Revolution
    3,500 BCE – Hierakonpolis (Egypt)
    1,150 BCE – Tanki (China)
    1,100 BCE – Tiglath-Pileser(Assyria)
    600 BCE – Nebuchadnezzar II (Babylon)
    300 BCE – Roman gladiatorial games
    1521 – Montezuma’s menagerie (Aztec) destroyed by Cortez
    1626 – Menagerie at Versailles
    1795 – Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes (Paris)
    1826 – Zoological Society of London forms
    1828 – Zoological Gardens opens
    1849 – First reptile house opens
    1853 – First public aquarium opens
    1867 – The word “zoo” appears in OED
    DOMESTICATED
    Industrial Revolution
    INDUSTRIAL
  • Agricultural: Royal Menageries
    power, prestige, control over Nature, blood sport
    Nero (37-68 AD). "Christians Flung To The Wild Beasts", engraving from “A Popular History of Rome” by D. Rose, 1886.
  • Agricultural: Royal Menageries
    power, prestige, control over Nature, bloodsport
    Menagerie at Versailles under Louis XIV (1660s)
  • Industrial: Zoological Collections
    reductive, organized taxonomically, sterile, modernist
    Snow leopard at the Bronx Zoo (1906)
  • Industrial: Zoological Collections
    reductive, organized taxonomically, sterile, modernist
    Rhinos at the Berlin Zoo (1960s)
  • Industrial: Zoological Collections
    reductive, organized taxonomically, sterile, modernist
    Polar bear exhibit at the Louisville Zoo (mid-20th century)
  • Industrial: Zoological Collections
    reductive, organized taxonomically, sterile, modernist
    Penguin Pool at the London Zoo (1934-2003)
  • Q: What is the most dangerous animal in the zoo?
    A: The Architect
  • As we have entered the information age, zoos have undergone a parallel revolution
    INFORMATION
    AGRICULTURAL
    Habitat
    Immersion
  • Information: Habitat Immersion
    Nature is the model, habitat-based, holistic, enrichment
    HagenbeckTierpark (1907)
  • Information: Habitat Immersion
    Nature is the model, habitat-based, holistic, enrichment
    Woodland Park Zoo, Gorilla Exhibit by Jones and Jones (1978-79)
  • Information: Habitat Immersion
    Nature is the model, habitat-based, holistic, enrichment
    London Zoo, Penguin Pool (2011)
  • The Un-Zoo
  • The Un-Zoo
  • Habitat Design and Health
  • Stereotypies
  • ?
  • Mokolo and Bebac
  • Gorilla Biscuits
  • Before
  • After
  • Feeding time
    Human time?
    Gorilla time
    Lion time
  • Sexy time
  • Prey species
  • A Neutral Approach to Health
  • The Veil of Ignorance in morality
    “no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status; nor does he know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence and strength, and the like"
    A tool for designing a moral habitat
  • A tool for designing a healthy habitat
    The Veil of Ignorance in health
    “no one knows his place in Nature, his genus or species; nor does he know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence and strength, and the like"
  • If you could end up as anything….
    …how do you make anything healthy?
  • The Berlin Zoo holds 1,500+ species
  • Potential rules for habitat design
    Feed processed whole grains
    Remove predators
    Use surfaces easy to sterilize (concrete, steel)
    Give access to antibiotics (as needed)
    House each organism in isolation
    Feed the optimal ratio of fat, protein, and carbs
    House each organism in groups
  • Where do you start?
    Avoid death– Decrease extrinsic causes of mortality (predators, infectious disease, intra-species violence, exposure, accidents, starvation)
    Live well – Decrease intrinsic causes of mortality by replicating salient aspects of the habitat(s) to which the species is adapted (diet, movement, sun, climate, social groupings, etc.)
  • Where do you start?
  • When was the last time
    you were closeto
    a large, wild animal?
  • In the city
    Picture Credit: Johan Rosenmunthe
  • Camping
  • Hunting
  • In the arena
  • On safari
  • At the zoo
  • Lots of people go to zoos
    Source: MLB (2009), NBA (2008-09), NHL (2008-2009), NFL (2009-10) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sports_attendance_figures
    Source: Association of Zoos and Aquariums (2008) http://www.aza.org/visitor-demographics/
  • Zoos have enormous potential
    London Zoo, 1955
    London Zoo, 2009
    Photo Credit: Daniel Coomber
    Pathetic
    Negative attitudes
    Entertainment
    Animal cruelty
    Majestic
    Positive attitudes
    Education and conservation
    Animal wellbeing
  • Zoos connect us to the wild
    Thank you!