• This grizzly at the St Louis Zoo is displayed in an exhibit that mimics its natural habitat. A whole industry has emerged to manufacture these exhibits.

At your local zoo – if you can suspend disbelief for a moment – you might find yourself in the middle of a tropical rainforest. Or a dusty African plain, watching the animals in their natural habitat. Of course, those wild settings are merely a façade. Clever construction techniques covering up concrete cages. In the second of a two-part series, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports… the thought and planning behind the displays can be nearly as intricate as nature itself:

Livening Up Zoo Life

Animals in the wild have plenty to do to keep busy-like foraging for
food…or fighting off predators. But it’s a different story for animals in
captivity. So zookeepers and researchers are constantly looking for ways to
keep the animals occupied and improve their quality of life. And
increasingly, they’re becoming more scientific about it. The Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports: