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. Following the lead of private menageries in Europe, public zoos began to proliferate throughout America. What once started as symbols of prestige and power 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, and egg harvesting, zoos play a critical role in the fight to save endangered species.
Vicki Crokehas been writing about wildlife for more than two decades—tracking polar bears, Tasmanian devils, and Madagascar’s top predator, the fossa. Currently, she covers animal issues on air for NPR’s national newsmagazine show “Here&Now” as well as online for WBUR’s “The Wild Life.” She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Elephant Company, the story of J.H. Williams and the elephants he led for the Allied Forces in WWII, The Lady and the Panda: The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China’s Most Exotic Animal, as well as The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos—Past, Present and Future.