These sad and captivating photos tell the story of a Zoo like so many others. German photographer Elias Hassos perfectly captures the sadness of animals living in small cages – the boredom of spending every day of their entire life in the same spot and never knowing the feeling of freedom. The photos were published in German Greenpeace Magazine together with an article on the changing concept of zoos and their necessity.
For centuries, we’ve imprisoned animals in small cages just for our entertainment. Nowadays, more and more visitors feel compassion for caged animals – behavioral scientists criticize concrete enclosures and artificial light while radical animal rights activists call for an end to “life imprisonment.”
These photos raise questions about the necessity of zoos. The article in German Greenpeace Magazine states that we still need them for various reasons like education, research and the protection of endangered species, but the concept of what a zoo is has to change – and fast. Zoo directors in Germany have started a modern reform of zoos called “Zoos of the Future.” These modern zoos have more room for each animal, create an environment more similar to the animals’ natural habitats, and the animals spend less time locked up in cages. These zoos seem to transport exotic locations from Africa or Asia right into the center of Europe.
Many zoos around the world are trying their best to adapt to the new standards, but many lack financing, and others just don’t see the point. The aim of these photos is to show them that the public responds very strongly to this issue, and to encourage them to join the revolution.
The revolutionary “Zoo of the Future” movement, which originated in Leipzig, offers one concept of what a zoo should look like:
“Zoo of the Future” they call the new concept in Leipzig, “Adventure Zoo” in Hannover and “Zoom adventure world” in Gelsenkirchen. These three form the German vanguard of a movement that has already begun in the U.S. and the Netherlands. It combines the zoo with botanical gardens, multimedia science show and Disneyland-elements, a much-praised mix of infotainment, Nature Conservation and safari getaway.