International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


This article is a participant observation study of animal/human relationships at zoos. Both zoo personnel and visitors were observed intensively over four months and less intensively for two years. Young zoo employees tended to be naturalistic, ecologistic, and scientistic in their value orientation toward animals. These attitudes were often frustrated by the day-to-day routines of the job involving hosing and feeding and the realities of limitations placed upon zoos by strained budgets and antiquated buildings. The public tended to be an additional source of frustration due to their apparent lack of sensitivity and desire to be amused rather than educated.