Zoos started off as the private collections of kings and princes, aristocrats and the very rich. Modern zoos began in the eighteenth century, open initially to members only, who were interested in exotic animals from the point of view of scientific research.1 However, in the nineteenth century they became increasingly municipalised and democratised; civic pride and prestige required that every major city in the industrialising West should have a zoo, open to the public, whether free or for a relatively small entry fee. Zoos were meant in those days to be the ‘green lungs’ in urban settings, where nature, domesticated, was created with trees, where people could escape from the bustle and the pollution of great cities.
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