By David Grazian

Orangutans swing from Kevlar-lined fireplace hoses. Giraffes banquet on celebratory birthday truffles crowned with carrots rather than candles. Hi-tech dinosaur robots growl between metal bushes, whereas owls watch lively cartoons on outdated tv units. In American Zoo, sociologist David Grazian takes us on a safari throughout the modern zoo, alive with its many contradictions and unusual wonders.

Trading in his tweed jacket for a zoo uniform and a couple of muddy paintings boots, Grazian introduces us to zookeepers and animal rights activists, mom and dad and tots, and the opposite human primates that make up the zoo's social international. He indicates that during a massive shift clear of their unlucky pasts, American zoos at the present time emphasize naturalistic shows teeming with lush and immersive landscapes, breeding courses for endangered animals, and enrichment actions for his or her captive creatures. In doing so, zoos blur the imaginary limitations we often use to split tradition from nature, people from animals, and civilization from the wild. whilst, zoos deal with a barren region of competing priorities—animal care, schooling, clinical learn, and recreation—all whereas trying to function facilities for conservation within the wake of the present environmental and climate-change challenge. the realm of the zoo displays how we undertaking our personal prejudices and needs onto the animal country, and make investments nature with which means and sentiment.

A revealing portrayal of comedian animals, thrilled little ones, and feisty zookeepers, American Zoo is a impressive close-up exploration of a vintage cultural attraction.

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