Publishers Weekly, 1987-06-12 ``Zoos are here to stay because there is simply no substitute for what they offer,'' stresses the author; ``they provide the only way for most of us to get close to wild animals.'' Cherfas, a former editor of the British magazine New Scientist, visited more than 50 zoos worldwide in the course of his research. He reviews the history of displaying captive animals from royal menageries, public entertainment and education to breeding and conservation. We learn that the world's 757 zoos see 350 million visitors annually; that the modern zoo began with a no-bars design; that housing affects the visitor's perception of the animal's condition. Cherfas discusses at length captive breeding (embryo transfer, frozen sperm, problems of inbreeding) and population management (euthanasia as an essential strategy to save certain species). He looks at game parks and the ``techno-zoo,'' where human ingenuity is applied to keeping animals content in captivity. He praises specific zoos for excellent exhibits and educational achievement, then offers his views on the zoo of the future. This is a valuable book for readers committed to the conservation of wildlife as well as for zoo visitors. Illustrated. (July)
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