In order to keep families pouring in the doors, most zoos are happy-go-lucky places where the animals frolic and play.
If that’s what you’re looking for, don’t take your kids to the Vienna zoo. That way you can keep pretending the world is one big happy place, where life for the animals is just the bees knees.
The Austrians are taking a different tack to educating youth through their animal adventures. A new art installation is taking kids on a trip into the REAL wild with cars submerged in the hippos’ watering hole and derricks drilling in the penguin pen.
According to a translation of the artists’ intentions over at Green Muze, “Surprising effects occur when nature and civilization confront each other, shifting our perception of the actual relationship between animals and humans. The troubled relationship of nature and civilization is reformulated as a vivid and palpable experience, reaching out to entrap the spectator.”
The installation has apparently pissed off some regular zoo-goers who have canceled their memberships to the facility. I’ve always found zoos a tad on the depressing side – even as I’ve taken my daughter to delight in the animals – and this is definitely a downer. But it’s a realistic downer, one I think I’d prefer my daughter see rather than having it hidden away.
Would you bring your kids?