February 23, 2012
Experts say Zoos Could Have Woolly Mammoths, DoDo Birds
The “Future of Zoos” symposium held at Canisius last week garnered national and international media attention. More than 50 media outlets picked up the story, including usatoday.com, the Wall Street Journal/WSJ.com, msnbc.com, foxnews.com, sciencenewsdaily.com, discoverynews.com, esciencenews.com, innovationnewsdaily.com, and the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums/WAZA.org. The event was co-hosted by the college’s Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations (ISHAR) and the Buffalo Zoo.
Professor of animal behavior Michael Noonan, PhD, invited 21 experts including zoo directors, animal behavior experts, conservationists and world-renowned zoo architecture visionaries, to tackle the question of how zoos will look 50 and even 100 years from now.
One of the many topics discussed was the idea that rapidly growing technological advances will play a key role in the future of zoos. “Computer ‘wetware’ and robotics will likely be part of zoos of the future,” said Noonan. Jeffrey Yule, PhD, coordinator of the Environmental Science Program at Louisiana Tech University, discussed the possibility that species that are currently extinct could have representatives in zoos if we are able to clone them from existing tissue samples.
The notion that zoos of the future may include DoDo Birds and Woolly Mammoths got people tweeting. Tweets from the Science Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery News, Earth News and Fox News SciTech reached a potential 700,000 followers.
“Our future zoos will have an ever-increasing role in conveying respect for nature, the promotion of human-animal connectedness and the animal welfare implications that follow,” said Noonan. “The fact that the topics of animal welfare, education and conservation permeated the symposium, speaks well to where we now are as a species. It reflects well on our humanity.”
Future Zoos to Have Woolly Mammoths and Tiger Robots –
Submitted by: Office of Public Relations