A Wilder Kingdom: Rethinking Nature in Zoos, Wildlife Parks, and Beyond (Paperback)

A Wilder Kingdom: Rethinking Nature in Zoos, Wildlife Parks, and Beyond By Ben a. Minteer (Editor), Harry Greene (Editor) Cover Image
By Ben a. Minteer (Editor), Harry Greene (Editor)


Zoos have always had a troubled relationship to what is considered the "real" wild. Even the most immersive and naturalistic zoos, critics maintain, are inherently contrived and inauthentic environments. Zoo animals' diet, care, and reproduction are under pervasive human control, with natural phenomena like disease and death kept mostly hidden from public view. Furthermore, despite their growing commitment to conservation and education, zoos are entertainment providers that respond to visitors' expectations and preferences. What would a "wilder" zoo--one that shows the public a wider range of ecological processes--look like? Is it achievable or even desirable? What roles can or should zoos play in encouraging humanity to find meaningful connections with wild animals and places?

A Wilder Kingdom is a provocative and reflective examination of the relationship between zoos and the wild. It gathers a premier set of multidisciplinary voices--from animal studies and psychology to evolutionary biology and environmental journalism--to consider the possibilities and challenges of making zoos wilder. In so doing, the contributors offer new insights into the future of the wild beyond zoos and our relationship to wild species and places across the landscape in an increasingly human-dominated era.

About the Author

Ben A. Minteer is professor of environmental ethics and conservation in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. His many books include Wild Visions: Wilderness as Image and Idea (2022); The Fall of the Wild: Extinction, De-Extinction, and the Ethics of Conservation (Columbia, 2018); and The Ark and Beyond: The Evolution of Zoo and Aquarium Conservation (2018). Harry W. Greene is emeritus professor at Cornell University and adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the author of Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature (1997) and Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art (2013).

Product Details
ISBN: 9780231201537
ISBN-10: 0231201532
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication Date: September 12th, 2023
Pages: 280
Language: English