In May, the second conference on zoo design was held in Wroclaw, Poland. About 180 people attended the conference, among them leading landscape architects who specialized in designing zoos and exhibits, zoo managers, curators, zoologists, educators, and animal keepers from zoos around the world. Ehud Katzir, Hadar Yosifon, and Daphna Lev from the Zoological Garden also attended the conference. This year the main conference subject was "Exhibits as habitats"; in other words, how to plan an exhibit so that it will be as close as possible to the natural habitat of its inhabitants. Two main themes reappeared in all the lectures: mixed species exhibits and aviary or walk-through exhibits – two leading themes in modern perceptions of zoos in recent years. The first speaker at the conference was Radoslaw Ratajszczak, head of Zoo Wroclaw, which had hosted the conference. The title of his talk was "Cheap doesn't need to be bad". It was a very significant talk, especially following our visit to the huge "Afrikarium" exhibit that had been built about three years ago in Zoo Wroclaw, at a cost of around 50 million euros. From Radoslaw's talk, as well as from other talks at the conference, we learned that while it is indeed possible to build spectacular and expensive exhibits, it is also possible to improve dramatically the existing exhibits and animal welfare using very modest means. There is no doubt that we learned a lot and we hope to implement some of the things we have learned in our own Zoological Garden.  

מבנה תצוגת האפריקריום, ורוצלב, פולין

A simulation photo of the “Afrikarium” exhibit, Zoo Wroclaw

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