A New Perspective on Zoos Gives Hope

Just yesterday I finished reading a thin book called The Stationary Ark by a renown conservationist and zoologist of the name Gerald Durrell, who is widely known for writing nice autobiographic books on animals and his efforts to save many animal species. His motto being „Animals are the great voteless and voiceless majority, who can only survive with our help„, Gerald Durrell conducted many expeditions across the globe to collect animals and in 1958 he created an unique zoo on the island of Jersey, near France. Today the zoo, known as the Durrell Wildlife Park, is operating thanks to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and is an inspiration for many.

While reading the book, you are being reminded that zoological gardens should not serve only as a means of entertainment, but should also fulfill a scientific, conservationist and educational goal. Such a zoo would become not only a venue for dolphin shows, but also an interesting research place for scientists, a breeding station which could help reintroduce certain species back to their natural habitats and also an interactive classroom for the small and big ones. One of the zoos representing this scheme is the above mentioned Durrell Wildlife Park, which has become one of the main attractions on the island.

I haven’t had the chance to visit this zoo yet, but it is definitely on my list. If you are interested in the activities of the Trust and the Park, then check out the websites and if you happen to be a conservationist, then see the Durrell Conservation Academy.

4 thoughts on “A New Perspective on Zoos Gives Hope

  1. Tereza Loksova napsal:

    I tried to comment on my mobile phone but it seems it didn’t get through. I am personally repulsed by this mental position and I believe that it stems from the same roots that actually lead to this situation of environmental damage and extinction of many species. Instead of this God-like thinking, how about switching the point of view: let’s not think of us as the allmighty ones that can fiddle with nature just as we wish and accept that it is not an act-less object that relies on our help.. how about treating the natural world as actor on its own which purpose is not being here for the humans to operate with. If we did not mindlessly abuse it in the first place, the situation would be strikingly different. Lets treat nature as an actor on its own, with its own powers and respect it. Of course, I believe we need to act differently, but not on the basis of this patrimonial stance.

    To se mi líbí

    • Veronika Gregušová napsal:

      First of all, thank you for your candid comment, Tereza, I cannot agree with you more. This feeling of dominance of the human race towards the environment is faulty and should be abandoned. As much as the change of this approach is desirable, I cannot see it happening any soon and that is why I believe that instead of aiming at changing the philosophical attitude of the majority of people, attention should be focused on well-conceived initiatives, projects and ideas (such as the Durrel Wildlife Park and Academy), which have potential to influence the state of environment. This is my personal view and I would be happy to discuss it with you further.

      To se mi líbí

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