For hundreds of years, zoos have put animals on show. Even human beings were exhibited until the mid 20th century. The lure of something “different”, something “exotic” or “spectacular” have always excited people.
Changing social values, however, meant increased moral pressure on zoos. They responded with larger enclosures and assurances of providing “education” and “raising awareness”, as well as an involvement in the drive for “species protection” and “habitat protection”.
But zoos have remained commercial institutions, doing very little for education, species survival or habitat protection. Quite the opposite, in fact. Animals captured from the wild for zoos and aquariums is an activity that continues to harm nature and animals. In Europe alone, zoos kill around 5,000 “surplus” animals born each year.
Thank you very much for helping us make our visions come true!Donate
In response, we conceived the project “ZOOXXI”. Animal welfare campaigners and environmental activists linked to Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) as well as 40 professors from disciplines ranging from biology and veterinary medicine to ethics, business, communication and law are all working on the project. To start with, a 360° analysis of zoos will be conducted from all perspectives, to develop findings and guidelines.
Killings, overcrowded cages, and all the suffering that goes with this should be a thing of the past. The ZOOXXI concept does not seek to close zoos, but to turn them into something very different. This requires a genuine education and research programme, with animal protection, species protection and habitat protection always remaining the primary goal.
The idea is to only house local animals, and exclusively within the framework of species preservation projects. Other than this, ZOOXXI sites will be dedicated to caring for confiscated and injured animals until a better home can be found for them.
* * *