Thursday, June 16, 2016

A must-see. "Zoo Revolution"

Zoo Revolution takes the viewer deep inside the increasingly controversial debate about the value of zoos in the 21st century. Love them or hate them, zoos are big business. Worldwide, zoos attract some 700 million visitors a year. In North America, annual attendance at zoos exceeds all the major sports franchises combined.

Many animal‐welfare advocates argue that zoos are a colossal waste of resources that would be better spent in 'the wild' where habitat loss, poaching and climate change are taking a terrible toll on the earth's species. Zoo supporters maintain that zoos are critically important in helping humans re-establish our connection with animals and the wilderness. Without that connection, many animal species will continue their relentless march towards extinction with little public awareness or reaction.

Zoo Revolution presents both sides of the argument though interviews with pro and anti‐zoo advocates. In Australia, the CEO of Zoos Victoria Jenny Grey maintains that contemporary zoos are playing a vital role in the struggle to save endangered species. In the UK, the Executive Director of the Born Free Foundation, Will Travers, argues that the money spent on zoos is enormously wasteful, and diverts valuable resources away from the wilderness where the real need lies. World‐renowned primatologist Jane Goodall takes the view that while some of the world's zoos treat animals abysmally, others do a good job of public education. Also interviewed is writer and zoo critic David Hancocks, considered by many to be the world's leading authority on the subject of zoos and zoo design.

Zoo Revolution travels to city zoos, wildlife parks, and unaccredited roadside attractions in Canada, the USA and Europe. In Germany, the viewer is taken inside the re‐invented Leipzig Zoo, a so‐called "zoo of the future". In Australia, a spotlight is shone on the efforts by staff at Zoos Victoria to fight the imminent extinction of local species, but zookeepers there are also engaged in the global struggle to protect rhinos and mountain gorillas.

Are zoos part of the solution? Or part of the problem?

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