• Today's zoo exhibits attempt to immerse visitors in the scene while also enriching the animals' lives. Some zoos are criticized for emphasizing appearances instead of the animals' well-being.

Zoos across the nation are putting their animals in more natural settings instead of cages. For some zoos, it’s done to make the animals’ lives a little more comfortable. But for others, it’s simply done to draw more people rather than to give the animals a better place to live. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham has the details in the first of a two-part series:


  • 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: