90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
map1 home map1

About the Documentary

Going to the zoo is a deeply American experience. There are few who aren’t excited by the moment they spy a wild animal: A giraffe! A gorilla! A zebra! And zoos can be visited all over the country – they range from small, ramshackle enclosures to sprawling modern facilities. But some of them are in a category all of their own:  approximately 200 of them are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums – think: zoological crème de la crème. These zoos say they’re different from the rest. Because they provide cutting-edge animal care, are on the frontlines of global conservation, and are actually inspiring visitors to help save wildlife with those close animal encounters.

“American Zoos: Inside Out” looks at whether top zoos are living up to their claims.  As more and more species verge on extinction, how are zoos contributing to wildlife conservation? When television networks like Animal Planet routinely bring images of the wild into living rooms, do zoos still play a role in educating the public about animals? And as more natural habitats replace cages in zoos, is animal care in zoos improving? And perhaps the most pressing question: should some animals – like elephants -  be held in captivity at all?

Listen to this one hour documentary special:
“From Cages to Conservation, American Zoos: Inside Out”

The people responsible for producing the documentary.