Location

Schewel 215

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

4-4-2018 1:45 PM

Department

History

Abstract

The emergence of zoos in twentieth century America had many factors that contributed to their mission, success, and overall exotic nature. Zoos have been a part of human civilization for centuries, but it would not be until 1876 when the first zoo would appear in the United States. Individuals craved excitement and the use of exotic animals from all over the world became an important component of what zoos would become. This era coincides with the European colonization of Sub-Saharan Africa, known as the Scramble for Africa. Animals were brought from the so-called “Dark Continent” to be put on display, as well as people, like the infamous case of Ota Benga at the Bronx Zoo. Moreover, the United States went through many cultural changes in the post Civil War years including the opening of National Parks, the commercialism of baseball, emergence of a middle class, and an improved transportation system. All of these aspects made it possible for individuals to view and admire the animals in zoos, as well as make zoos a family event.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Adam Dean

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Apr 4th, 1:45 PM

Emergence of Zoos in the U.S. and a Search for the Exotic

Schewel 215

The emergence of zoos in twentieth century America had many factors that contributed to their mission, success, and overall exotic nature. Zoos have been a part of human civilization for centuries, but it would not be until 1876 when the first zoo would appear in the United States. Individuals craved excitement and the use of exotic animals from all over the world became an important component of what zoos would become. This era coincides with the European colonization of Sub-Saharan Africa, known as the Scramble for Africa. Animals were brought from the so-called “Dark Continent” to be put on display, as well as people, like the infamous case of Ota Benga at the Bronx Zoo. Moreover, the United States went through many cultural changes in the post Civil War years including the opening of National Parks, the commercialism of baseball, emergence of a middle class, and an improved transportation system. All of these aspects made it possible for individuals to view and admire the animals in zoos, as well as make zoos a family event.