Zoos pp 30-41 | Cite as

Decontextualised and Recontextualised

  • Keekok Lee


The last chapter has argued that it makes no conceptual sense to talk of ‘wild animals in captivity’ by establishing a fundamental meaning of ‘wild’ in terms of its antonym ‘tame’. This and the chapters following will go beyond the conceptual issue to unravel the nest of complexities behind the meaning of ‘wild animal’ and at the same time explore a crucial matter underlying those complexities, namely the ontological difference in status between animals-in-the-wild and their counterparts kept in zoos as captive animals. The difference may be explored in terms of the following basic aspects in the transformation of wild animals into what this book calls ‘immurated’ animals in zoos, that is to say, in transforming naturally occurring animals to become, to an extent (to be clarified in later chapters), biotic artefacts at the hands of homo faber:
  1. 1.

    Geographical dislocation and relocation.

  2. 2.

    Habitat dislocation and relocation.

  3. 3.

    Lifestyle dislocation and reaccommodation.

  4. 4.

    Suspension of natural evolution.



Wild Animal Polar Bear Captive Animal Human Project Exotic Animal 
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Copyright information

© Keekok Lee 2005

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  • Keekok Lee

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