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

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Scribner, 1997 - Science - 272 pages
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"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

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THE MODERN ARK: The History of Zoos: Past, Present, and Future

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Croke, a wildlife journalist for the Boston Globe, gets to the heart of our love-hate affair with zoos in this elegant, thoughtful study. Creatures of the wild strike primitive, visceral, and ... Read full review

The modern ark: the story of zoos: past, present, and future

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Unlike other recently published books (e.g., Michael Nichols's Keepers of the Kingdom, LJ 1/97) that have hailed the "conservation" efforts of zoos and their attempts to provide "naturalistic" habitat ... Read full review


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

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About the author (1997)

Vicki Constantine Croke wrote the Animal Beat column in The Boston Globe for thirteen years and currently covers animal issues for WBUR-FM, Boston's NPR news station. She received a 2013 regional Edward R. Murrow Award. She has also written several books including The Lady and the Panda: The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China's Most Exotic Animal, The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos: Past, Present and Future, and Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II.

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