Great Escape: The Gorilla In The Room
Having now spent the bulk of his career at zoos, Coe knows they aren’t infallible institutions, and he’s well aware of the larger ethical debates around captivity. But he also believes deeply that zoo animals are refugees from man’s war on nature — a war that only seems to be increasing in intensity — and it’s critical to provide them with the best possible livelihoods. From his vantage, zoos have made incredible strides since his salad days at Woodland Park. The exhibits are more enriching than ever, and advances in veterinary medicine and nutritional science are helping to optimize care for the animals.
As a result, Coe says, animals in today’s zoos appear “smarter, stronger, and more motivated” than generations past. From a design perspective, this poses a problem: The more physically fit and mentally acute a zoo animal is, the more capable it is of getting out. [Full Article]