This book does not present a technical history of zoos, such as the development of zoo architecture over the ages, instead shedding light on the human aspect of wild animals in the context of zoos.
It researches what pushed humans to contain wild animals in enclosed spaces nearby as well as why the public continues to be attracted to such places, despite the various types of attractions available and the technology they offer.
The authors relate the history of zoos in Europe since the sixteenth century, concluding their research with current debates in Europe and America surrounding the role of zoos. Is it right to keep and display animals for the sake of entertainment, or to breed and contain them and eventually release them into the wild? The authors elucidate the course of the complicated changes in public opinion on wild animals. The book includes 400 descriptive pictures and rare, distinctive drawings, which authenticate the text and add life and beauty to it.