The shooting of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo has reignited debate about how to properly care for and conserve zoo animals. Several petitions have been created on Change.org, seeking some form of justice for Harambe. Given the conservation mission of the modern zoo, there is much discussion about how we might make zoos better to prevent an event like the one that led to Harambe’s death.
But what if the entire premise of zoos is to blame? Instead of seeking justice for Harambe, or improving zoo policies or exhibit design, we should first ask what, precisely, are we conserving in zoos? In my view, we are perpetuating an outmoded worldview rooted in colonialism. Read more.