Saturday, February 04, 2006

Zoo evolution

When Zoos were first conceived and designed, they allowed human visitors to roam the grounds freely to view the animals that are safely locked up in their cages. Over time, this was seen as a form of cruelty to animals. It was also thought that if animals could roam freely so that they could be viewed in settings that were more natural, more could be learnt about them in their natural habitat.

Many zoos have made this change in their design with varying degrees of open-ness. The Singapore Zoological Gardens is one of these. Animals can roam in larger habitats outside of cages. In the Animal World in AFamosa Resort, which is situated in Malacca, it would seem that human visitors have switched places with the animals, as this photo shows. Visitors are locked up in a moving cage on a lorry, which drives them around the natural habitat of the animals in the zoo. If we interpolate the story of the Planet of the Apes, this scene would look very familiar to the apes! This photo was taken while I was similarly 'locked up' in a caged lorry.