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From Sad Zoo to Happy Zoo: The Changing Animal Welfare and Conservation Priorities of the Seoul Zoo in South Korea

From Sad Zoo to Happy Zoo: The Changing Animal Welfare and Conservation Priorities of the Seoul Zoo in South Korea

Chapter:
(p.212) Chapter Seventeen From Sad Zoo to Happy Zoo: The Changing Animal Welfare and Conservation Priorities of the Seoul Zoo in South Korea
Source:
The Ark and Beyond
Author(s):
Anne S. Clay
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226538631.003.0018

This chapter analyzes the efforts of Seoul Grand Park Zoo--the largest and most important zoo on the Korean peninsula--to develop and achieve the highest standards in conservation, education, animal welfare, and research over the last three decades. Founded primarily as an entertainment venue in 1984, the zoo has struggled to become a scientific center that adequately provides for the animals under its care and promotes the advancement and dissemination of knowledge. Drawing on interviews of zoo officials, academics, conservationists, and animal-rights activists, the chapter explores the animal welfare management and conservation priorities of this prominent Asian institution. Although the zoo has made significant improvements in animal welfare, it remains constrained by limited resources and government indifference. These constraints have restricted the zoo’s ambition to become a major center for conservation; it currently concentrates on only a handful of projects with broad popular appeal. Greater collaboration, better communication with other researchers, and more systematic sharing of data would be especially beneficial for expanding the zoo’s conservation agenda. As research and conservation become more prominent parts of the zoo’s portfolio, however, potential conflicts may arise with the zoo’s emphasis on the welfare of individual animals under its care.

Keywords:   South Korea, Seoul Grand Park, animal welfare, animal rights, conservation

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