Modern zoo design is incredibly challenging, as it requires multiple interdisciplinary skills to be framed together. The World Association of Zoo and Aquariums [WAZA, 2005] refers to the importance of animal welfare to modern collections, in terms of managing healthy, viable populations for conservation reasons, and conveying reliable conservation-educational messages to the visiting public. Exhibits must take part of all these aspects, but we could also add many factors such as safety - both for animals and visitors - daily routine work, sustainability and aesthetics. Design in zoos is maybe one the most changing trends for decades. It involves being creative, innovating, but keeping in mind the purposes of animals purposes and their welfare as a prerequisite, whatever the goal for visitors - entertainment or education, conservation messages. By offeringmore flexibility for animals and for people, we give them the opportunity to experience new discoveries each time..
Animals in zoos are not just animals: they are animals in a living world. Habitats must be carefully considered and inspired by wildlife. It does not mean trying to duplicate, but providing animals with an environment that meets their needs, promoting the use of extensive behavioural repertoires.
Just as the behavioural repertoires of animals can vary between different communities or populations in the wild, so too can captive animals exhibit novel behaviour patterns that are not usually seen among their wild conspecifics, but this does necessarily mean that the behaviour is ‘‘abnormal.’’ Thus, the species-typical behaviour of animals living in good conditions in the wild (i.e. animals that we would consider having good welfare), may not be identical to the behavioural repertoires of zoo animals with good welfare (Hills and Broome, 2009). The combination of complementary field and collection research provide a powerful approach to learning about the biology and behaviour of animals (Wells, 2009).
Our challenge is to be creative but achievable. Whatever the size, the budget or the renown of zoos, they all have responsibilities and commitments for animals and kids, students and visitors. Adjustments to zoo design and animal collection choices will match animals’ needs and visitors’ expectations.
Avec parfois un accès limité à l’extérieur, il est nécessaire de créer un milieu environnant riche et complexe, offrant des structures solides et permettant aux animaux d’exprimer leurs comportements naturels. Là encore, le bien-être ayant une incidence sur les performances zootechniques des animaux, le bien-être animal n’est pas superflu mais nécessaire à l'optimisation des résultats attendus.
AKONGO’s team is dedicated to advise you on zoo design projects to:
Nous vous accompagnons dans vos projets d’aménagements de lieux d’élevage :
Contact me to discuss your projects and objectives. Together we will assess the best strategy to achieve them. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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