31.1 | Vincent Reijnders

Where to Look, What to Emphasise: The Conflict of Dividing Attention between the Individual Animal and the Global Process of Climate Change—at Rotterdam Zoo


A thick description of a field trip to Rotterdam Zoo, I use the polar bear exhibit as an example of how the zoo shapes the encounter between visitor and animal in order to analyse this personal ‘meeting between species’ and how it reflects on zookeeping and human responsibility in the age of the Anthropocene. I argue that Rotterdam Zoo should stress the entangled nature of their animals, their visitors, and the entire planet, in order to play a more effective role in combatting climate change through education.