The aim of the project ZOOXXI is to bring zoos around the world in line with contemporary, ethical standards and to respond to the increasing threats to animal species worldwide. On 3 May 2019, the Barcelona City Council decided by a large majority (26 votes to 12) that the Barcelona Zoo would be the first zoo in the world to implement this model designed by Fondation Franz Weber.
Zoos around the world always claim they are contributing to the “conservation” of species, “educating” the population and “raising awareness” of the difficulties animals face in the current state of our planet. But one cannot help but admit that zoos have only succeeded in preserving themselves. They claim to do “research”, but what they learn about captive animals can only ever be applied in the context of captivity. New insights into the natural behaviour and needs of animals in their natural habitat cannot be gained in this way.
The main idea of ZOOXXI is to transform zoos, that until now have served almost exclusively for pleasure, into places where research, species conservation and education are central.