Living on Earth

The idea of a zoo can be a fairly ironic one. Visitors flock to them to observe wildlife, yet the animals are held captive in foreign habitats. Zoo-goers are generally animal lovers looking to be enlightened or enchanted by encounters with apes, elephants and tigers, but often leave zoos feeling depressed after seeing the animals pacing neurotically or lying about listlessly. Author Vicki Croke (croak) tells Steve Curwood that she shares those feelings. In her new book, The Modern Ark, The Story of Zoos: Past, Present and Future she says many of the animals in zoos are suffering from mental illness.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.