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12 October 2003

There's no place like home

The typical zoo enclosure for a polar bear is one-millionth the size of its home range in the wild, which can reach 31,000 square miles... Some captive polar bears spend 25 percent of their day in what scientists call stereotypic pacing, and infant mortality for captive animals is around 65 percent.

From the New York Times.

There follows a more general discussion of efforts to simulate native environments - the most striking of which is the Bronx Zoo's introduction of a spinning ball scented with various odours, for tigers. If Richard Dawkins' speculation yesterday is right and some animals (rhinos, dogs...) smell in colour, then the animals in the Bronx Zoo must smell in technicolor.

More Africams and Robot Zoos and less animal enclosures, please.

Posted at 07:14 PM in Cultured animals | Permalink

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Comments

unfortunately ,the polar bears seem to get hunted in the wild...

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1061235,00.html

Posted by: matt at 12 Oct 2003 20:00:50