Noah's Ark

Frankfurt am Main Travel Blog

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The Zoo Frankfurt opened its gate for the first time in 1858 after the local police department had approved to display wild animals in a natural environment. The Zoo is located in Frankfurt’s East End. A tube station right underneath makes it easy to reach it by public transport.

During World War II, due to heavy bombings, most of the Zoo had been destroyed. Many animals (almost 90%) died and those who survived were running haggardly throughout the city. Due to Bernard Grizmek's unconditional commission to animals, the Zoo could be rescued. He was able to collect money and invested everything into the reconstruction of the Zoo. Within the next twenty years a new bird house, an ape enclosure, the so called Exotarium, and many other enclosures were built.

But where's actually the need for keeping wild animals in cages? I was always a bit suspicious if this is really necessary.

So I did some research and came a cross the Zoo's homepage and found an interesting explanation. An explanation that didn't persuade me 100% but made me feel a little bit better:

The ideal world would be a world where zoos were not needed.

The zoo is more important today than ever before because:
1. Through urbanization, the modern human has lost access to nature. The zoo represents the "emergency exit to nature" (Hediger.)

The national parks of the world have small capacities and would be destroyed (i.e. Galapagos Islands, Masai Mara Reserve etc.), if they were overrun with millions of zoo visitors yearning for nature.

Animal documentaries are a supplement, but no substitute for direct, spontaneous contact with animals in a zoo.

2. The alienation from nature generates in modern humans a knowledge deficit that is most effectively counteracted by educational information in the zoo. The more than 1,000 member zoos in the WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) are visited by over 600 million people every year.

3. Natural habitat is being irretrievably destroyed due to the increase in global population and the improvement in living standards - for example 33 hectares of tropical rainforest are destroyed every minute. Through this destruction, the introduction of alien species and direct persecution, 6,000 of the 23,000 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians as well as thousands of species of fish, invertebrates and plants are endangered or threatened with extinction. It is hypothesized that humans destroy 140 of the assumed 30 million species every day. The zoological community is becoming the modern day Noah’s Ark, in cooperation with conservation organizations through regional and global preservation breeding programs.

Therefore, scientifically led zoos, as scientific cultural institutions, have the following four principal goals:

- Recreation for the visitor
- Information for the visitor
- Research for nature and animal protection
- Conservation

A zoo that is scientifically oriented pursues these goals as an advocate for animals. Protection of animals (protection of the individual) in the framework of the conservation of a species and of species diversity is a matter of concern to the zoo. Animals are a precious loan from nature, and should be looked after in the interests of their species and without commercial motivation.


Since 1985, the breeding of threatened and rarely kept wild animal species has been centrally managed within the framework of the European Endangered Species Programme.  So I think they are doing quite a good job :)





dahling says:
Gut, dass du den Zoo erwähnt hast, ich habe vorher gar nicht bemerkt, dass man unten noch weiter klicken kann. Na ja, angeblich ist scatterbrained ja gut. :)) So, morgen lese ich weiter.
Posted on: Oct 13, 2007
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