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.
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)
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
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
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?
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 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?
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.)
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