Posted on April 15, by Scott Alexander [Disclaimer: None of these immediately set off alarms, but I have not double-checked all of them to make sure they are accurate.
Modern zoos are often said to have begun with London's Regent's Park Zoo in the 's because it was founded with a scientific purpose.
However, it will be seen that this step was a culmination of the Age of Reason which is conveniently dated from Likewise, an equally valid claim could be made for dating our current style of zoo design as beginning with Hagenbeck's zoo in Hamburg. However, so much change in science and technology, and in society, after World War Two places the tremendous innovations of Hagenbeck in a different era.
The post-Second World War period is when the principals of what could be called the new architectural discipline of zoo design began to appear. A note on the pace of change and the sources of innovation in the zoo world is warranted.
New zoos are not a frequent event; and, once established, not easily changed. The history of zoo design, has tended to be one of ground breaking advances which renews interest in zoos and, hence, there is a spate of zoo building and existing ones change to follow the trend.
Though seemingly revolutionary, the new order is always a product of the society that fosters it and, Amusement park architectural thesis now, has always followed the architectural styles of the time.
The current Amusement park architectural thesis to habitat design is still a product of its time, but has steered an independent architectural course.
Existing mind-sets, financial and space constraints always present difficulties to older zoos with every new direction.
Some zoos do not change, others undertake to completely make-over their displays to fit with new ideas. By-and-large, most zoos become a mix of epochs; building new exhibits more or less at the leading edge of design while retaining or making do with renovations to existing out-dated enclosures.
Pre-modern Zoos up to The zoos of ancient and even relatively recent societies are usually described disparagingly as menageries. This is to overlook the fact that many menageries were established out of motives similar to the better zoos of today and were not always for private amusement, public spectacle or to enhance the prestige of the owner.
In regard to the treatment of animals, it is obvious that whatever fate was to befall the specimens display or destruction they had to be maintained in the meantime and considerable knowledge of animal needs must have been available to enable this.
It took the establishment of settled civilised cultures, i. This knowledge was gained over tens of thousands of years of prehistoric development. Realising that neolithic cultures possessed a great deal of knowledge about wild animals from hunting and domesticating them, it becomes reasonable to assume that just as today, there were good and bad zoos, enlightened and backward ones.
Scientific knowledge may have been virtually non-existent, but practical animal husbandry could have been quite as advanced as it is today. The purpose of these ancient zoos tended to follow the proclivities of the rulers who established them, whether it be sport or spectacle. Referring to this figure, Loisel states that: On arrival at the destination, the lions would have been placed in an enclosure in the royal palace or released in semi-liberty in vast, special parks, planted with palm trees, vines and flowers, and that the Greeks called Paradeisos.
Still the main purposes of modern zoos - scientific study or public recreation - were not unknown.
Many animal collections of ancient civilizations were also used for scientific study and may have qualified as zoos by today's standards.
Thus, zoos or menageries have been a feature of civilizations as ancient as that of Ninevah and pharoanic Egypt and as far removed as China and pre-Hispanic Mexico.
The earliest known great zoo of the pre-modern past was that of Queen Hapshepsut of the Eighteenth dynasty in Egypt, who died in BC, around the time of construction of the great temple of Amon. Her own temple, associated with her tomb, is decorated with friezes depicting a trade expedition to Punt Somalia where among other things she collected a great many animals.
Alexander the Great, a pupil of Aristotle, established probably the first zoo as an educational institution. We must therefore not draw back childishly from examining the meaner animals. In all natural beings there is something of the marvellous.
In Rome, animals were used in bloody spectacles, on a vast scale also. The Romans were not noted for zoos; as great collectors and consumers of wildlife, they were responsible for the extinction of much of the large wild mammals within their Empire, for example lions in Europe.
However, some, like Pliny the Elder did have a scientific interest in animals. Constantine established public zoos at Antioch and Byzantium which were maintained until AD when the Persians destroyed them. Charlemagne established zoos in several monasteries in the Seventh Century.
Gallen in Switzerland - built a zoo of surprisingly modern design, with roomy quarters for the carnivores, work spaces for the keepers and well-kept outdoor paddocks for the hoofed animals. Here its function was the keeping of animals for contests.
It became a public zoo, the first publicly funded municipal zoo, when Henry III decided he was not going to provide for accommodating all the tourists who flocked to see first a Polar bear and then an elephant.
It was reported in by Edward Turner Bennet that the Tower menagerie had contained 43 mammals, 11 birds and 4 reptiles in But it was in the Renaissance that the royal menagerie reached its pinnacle with the first use of architecture designed around animals.
In all ages, animals were probably housed in buildings which expressed the standing of their collectors.
But for the first time animals were seen as part of a grand conception, as Jon Coe, notes:Perceptions of the “World” An honors thesis presented to the Department of Communications, Kingdom park alone was 17,,, making it the most attended theme or amusement park in the world (Global Attractions ).
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[The] American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic.
WOOTTON BASSETT. Wootton Bassett lies about 5¾ miles south-west of the centre of Swindon. The parish is roughly triangular in shape and covers some 5, a. of land. With the rise civilizations, there had probably already been in existence a habit of keeping non-domestic animals as curiosities. It took the establishment of settled civilised cultures, i.e., with the ability to produce agricultural surpluses to support urban centres to grow, to enable the organised keeping of wild animals.
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