The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos : Past, Present, and Future

Front Cover
Scribner, 1997 - Science - 272 pages
3 Reviews
"Filled with fascinating facts and entertaining anecdotes, The Modern Ark is an in-depth look at the radical changes occurring in our nation's zoos - from cement-paved mazes to simulated rain forests to completely natural landscapes - as well as the history behind the actual idea of the zoo. With remarkable grace and elan, Vicki Croke guides us through a history replete with Egyptian menageries; Louis XVI's personal collection of exotic animals at Versailles (that the Jacobins would later attempt to liberate during the French Revolution); and, in our century, William Hearst's private park at San Simeon." "Following the lead of private menageries in Europe, public zoos began to proliferate throughout America. What once started as symbols of prestige and power, the pastime of the aristocracy, are now educational centers, developing advanced technologies in the race to conserve all that remains of the natural world. With DNA fingerprinting, artificial insemination, embryo transfers, egg harvesting and release programs, zoos still play a critical role in the fight to save endangered species. While some zoos have overhauled their exhibits, embracing the latest scientific and technological discoveries, many still lag far behind." "In The Modern Ark, we meet the villains - zoo officials and administrators who refuse to upgrade their facilities - as well as the visionaries who recognize the need for zoos to redefine themselves. From laboratories to cyberspace, Croke takes us behind the scenes where groundbreaking research is being conducted as zoos face their futures. Timely and important, vivid and textured, The Modern Ark captures the daily struggles and battles zoos confront in all their complexity and marks the debut of a fresh and vibrant new talent in nature writing."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos: Past, Present, and Future

User Review  - Alexa - Goodreads

Great overview of the purpose and structure of modern zoos. Read full review

Review: The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos: Past, Present, and Future

User Review  - Laura - Goodreads

How has this book not come up more often in zoo discussions? Another book that should be required reading for zookeepers. The specific ground it covers is nothing unique (a brief history of zoos and a ... Read full review


Saving the Whole Animal
Why We Are Attracted to Zoos
All the Kings Zoos

3 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

VICKI CONSTANTINE CROKE has been covering pets and wildlife for more than a decade, and writes the "Animal Beat" column for The Boston Globe,"" A former writer and producer for CNN, she has been a contributing reporter for the National Public Radio environment show Living on Earth and consults on film and television projects, most recently a two-hour documentary on gorillas for the A&E channel. Croke is the author of The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos-Past, Present and Future,"" and has also written for Time, People,"" The Washington Post, Popular Science, Gourmet, National Wildlife, Discover, International Wildlife, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Bibliographic information