Emmy Award-winning producer and writer Loretta Caravette has teamed up with Curator Emeritus Mark Rosenthal of the Lincoln Park Zoo and Dr. Barbara Baker, CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, to chronicle the history of zoos and aquariums through an unprecedented collection of interviews with North America’s most distinguished zoo and aquarium directors. The video also highlights the current state of the industry and the future of ex situ conservation.
The Zoo & Aquarium Video Archive project provides insightful perspectives from the likes of Dr. William Conway, General Director Emeritus of the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society, and Bill Braker, Director Emeritus of the Shedd Aquarium and the first biologist and degree holding employee of the renowned aquarium facility.
I was graciously offered an early viewing of the video project, which has been in production since 2008.
As a career zoo and aquarium professional watching the interviews I found myself hanging on to every word uttered by these pioneers of an industry that caters to 180 million visitors a year.
Zoos and aquariums are more than just popular living collections and cultural attractions. These natural history institutions are leaders in conservation and natural science and provide vital formal and informal learning opportunities for young people. The project will undoubtedly serve as a valuable contribution to the conservation science community and will be of benefit to future generations held responsible as stewards of nature and global sustainability.