This is really neat! Bristol’s zoo is planning to rethink the zoo concept and create a place that will be like the garden of eden for wildlife.
The timing could hardly be more prescient. Last week the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s largest environmental body, predicted that up to a fifth of all mammals are now facing extinction. At least 76 species are known to have died out since the 1500s with a further 1,141 of the 5,487 mammal species currently endangered.
Under the plans submitted to South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol’s “eco zoo” could connect the inherent interest value of captive animals with the conservation methods needed to save their wild cousins.
The whole idea of captivity will be reduced to a minimum – this zoo aims to be to animals what the Eden Project is for plants. The often controversially cramped spaces of the Victorian era’s most famous zoos are gone – replaced with open land, moats and ditches. Food for the animals will be organic, while 80 per cent of the building material will be locally sourced and sustainable.
But most importantly, the four themed areas of the park – which if given the go-ahead will be open by 2012 – have all been chosen to reflect specific areas of the world where conservation is desperately needed to save critically endangered species.