Zoo: A History of Zoological Gardens in the West
by Eric Baratay and Elizabeth Hardouin-Fugier
11  

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ISBN Number: 9781861892089
Format:
Hardback with dustjacket
Number of Pages:
400
Publication Date:
2003
Publisher:
Reaktion Books 

Wild animals have fascinated human observers since time immemorial. The story of our interest in collecting, classifying and dominating nature looms large; thus it is surprising that the history of menageries, zoological gardens and zoos as we know them today has been so poorly documented. Zoo aims to address this gap. In the Renaissance, wealthy aristocrats showcased exotic beasts in private menageries. Safely caged, animals inspired the interest of naturalists and fed the curiosity of the masses. By the 19th century, increased urbanization and colonization aided the expansion of zoos in which animals were tamed to serve as domesticated livestock. Nowadays, with many natural habitats under threat of extinction, the social function of zoos is less clear. Such institutions both present the illusion of wild animals in a natural state to a nostalgic public and find themselves justifying their existence as saviours of endangered species.

Condition: Very Good in Very Good dustkacket. (Click on image above for close-up of front cover).
 

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