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The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos: Past, Present, and Future
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The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos: Past, Present, and Future

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  35 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Around the planet, as animals disappear and habitats shrink, more than 120 million people annually flock to America's zoos. Croke's eye-opening book offers a history of this strange institution of animal captivity where, paradoxically, we seek to link our souls with the wildness of nature. of photos.
Published March 24th 1997 by Scribner Book Company (first published December 12th 1951)
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Callie Davidson
Feb 22, 2016 Callie Davidson rated it liked it
Animals in captivity show many of the same symptoms of mental asylum patients. In the book, The Modern Ark, author Vicki Croke explains these behaviors and how they can be fixed. This book was published in 1997, so it does not entail the most recent information. However, it is a very compelling read that had me hooked from the first chapter. Croke focuses on the lives of wild animals in captivity and how captivity can be destructive to an animal’s health. Throughout the book, Croke offers sugges ...more
Apr 24, 2008 Brittany rated it liked it
This book is an entertaining and enlightening look at modern zoos, as well as their historical equivalents. However, Croke seems not quite to have made up her mind how she, personally, feels about zoos. This is fine in that I think most people have mixed opinions. However, she never explores this confusion, leaving us with a fragmented view of her personality. In one chapter, she will emphasize that truly naturalistic, complex habitats are absolutely vital to happy, healthy social animals. And w ...more
Jun 25, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
How has this book not come up more often in zoo discussions? Another book that should be required reading for zookeepers. The specific ground it covers is nothing unique (a brief history of zoos and a call for a change in the future and commitment to true conservation), but it is the most well-cited and well-worded books on the subject I have come across. A particular aspect I have not seen addressed before is the preservation of behaviors in addition to genetics. Well done. My only real problem ...more
Sarra Lord
Jan 25, 2016 Sarra Lord rated it liked it
Copyright 1997 this book is a little bit out of date. It was a well-researched study of the problems facing zoos and conservation at the time when it was published.
Apr 20, 2008 Colin rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a good review of zoos and issues facing them. The issues facing zoos (ethics, conservation, education etc.) are only increasing but the ways in which we deal with them and view them are forever changing.
This is a good book for anyone interested in zoos, conservation or animal rights. I would have given it four stars instead of three but this book was publised over ten years ago and alot has changed in that time. If there is a more recent book on the subject, I would go with that first.
Feb 24, 2010 Alexa rated it really liked it
Great overview of the purpose and structure of modern zoos.
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Vicki Constantine Croke has been covering pets and wildlife for more than a decade, writing the "Animal Beat" column for The Boston Globe.
Croke is the author of The Lady and the Panda, Animal ER, The Modern Ark, and has also written for Time, People, The Washington Post, and Popular Science, among others.
A former writer and producer for CNN, she has been a contributing reporter for the National Pu
More about Vicki Croke...

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