Home Page Exhibits Stone Age Page 3D Images Adventures Smoke and Mirrors Articles About Hi-Tech-tonics Contact HTt

THIS IS WHAT YOU REALLY CAME TO SEE:
A GALLERY OF THE ENVIRONMENTS WE CREATE!

Much of the environmental sculpture we provide is for
‘Natural Habitat’ Development

photo by Jason Skitterall

Originally intended to modify the surroundings for animals in captivity to more closely reflect the environments from which they came, the ‘natural habitat’ concept for exhibit construction has allowed wildlife to exhibit more natural behavior. Mammal and bird species that never before bred in captivity are finding greater accommodations with more space that reflects the amorphous configurations found in their native environments. With a little more room, in spaces that look less like rooms, and with individualized custom borrows and nesting areas, the inhabitants of zoos instinctively decide to pair off. The wildlife parks have yielded a wealth of information about the behavior that animals display in captivity, and before the advent of the ‘Natural Habitat’ concept, old fashioned zoo displays were often the one-room barred concrete cubicles with limited interaction with the natural world and little real environmental stimuli. There was not very much to elicit any natural responses. Predatory instincts in some and fear of becoming prey in others was affected by the seclusion and protection afforded from enclosures built for efficient containment in mind. The food is delivered and the cage cleaned out regularly. There was no moving about freely in the confining quarters of old. It was the end of the line for most of these main attractions. Most often there was not enough space provided for a mated pair to raise offspring, and a boxed-in cubicle with 4-8 accessible corners is an environment that can make a creature feel cornered. This strictly right-angled geometry that humans have developed for themselves isn’t readily found in the natural world. The zoos of old weren’t interested in breeding the species they harbored but rather keeping them on display for gate receipts, that was the 'ticket'. If an animal died in captivity there was always more in the wild being caught all the time for replacements. Nowadays it is very different. There is very little collecting from the wild going on. Our insight into the dwindling habitats in the wild and the plight of a number of species in need has caused great alarm and many countries have passed long-overdue legislation to protect their remaining wildlife, and as much of the native habitat as possible. It is sometimes too little but we hope not too late, a big step in the right direction, surely. There is a ban on hunting and capturing much of the endangered wildlife in the world today so finding new specimens for any animal park is also very difficult. Poaching has been the problem when enforcement measures are ineffective, but efforts have curtailed much of the wanton slaughter of protected wildlife and disregard for the authority that is responsible for protecting it. In some countries the number of species and individuals is on the rise, proving that a difference can be made. The wildlife parks, aquariums and museums of today do a great deal to increase the awareness about these issues. The Milwaukee County Zoo, the Desert Museum, and the Bronx Zoo have been some of the pioneers in "Natural Habitat" development. Their efforts are not going unnoticed. Many thanks to them and organizations like ‘The American Bison Society’ and the ‘Wildlife Conservation Society’ for their enormous efforts and successes worldwide. Our hats are off to these men and women whose regard for all creatures great and small is an inspiration to all. Their programs are working to prevent loss of habitat around the world and will continue to do so with our support. Support your local zoo, aquarium and museum by visiting soon. Be a part of the preservation of life and go wild!


photo by Jason Skitterall

90 to 95% of animals in zoos today have been bred, raised and traded within zoos and the need to collect species from the wild has been minimized greatly. Zoos have introduced breeding programs and many have adopted specialty programs for selected endangered species. The DNA of all the animals in zoos around the world is being catalogued at the Wildlife Conservation Society in NY to ensure a greater gene pool for captive creatures and more success in procreation (avoiding too many generations of in-house inbreeding and limiting the spread of congenital infirmities). Even the theme parks like Sea world who encourage the animals to perform for their keep, have brought species up close for human consideration and put us in touch with individual animals on a first name basis. Many parents know from watching their children that a cricket or rat may appear less undesirable, even become lovable, when we attach a first name to it like Jim or Mick. There may not be the legislation to protect whales from extinction today if a generation of voters hadn’t grown up knowing about Shamu.


photo by Jason Skitterall

 

 

We at HTt can help resolve the difficulties inherent in wildlife conservation. There is more involved in ‘Natural Habitat’ construction than simply providing a space that is well sealed off from the rest of the world. Rather than the use of bars and barbed wire, we configure the enclosures with moats and embankments, containment walls of simulated rock and earth, with interior dwelling spaces made to reflect the types of habitat sought after in the wild, only we configured them for safety and reinforce it all so the elements and the inhabitants remain put. The wildlife can interact freely with the surroundings, exploring caves and pools, climb in trees and vines, and behaving much more closely to the way we witness it in the wild with out them requiring or discovering an escape route! Researchers spend years analyzing the activity of species in the wild. Their conclusions help us to provide the necessary elements in a controlled environment for conditioning the animals to elicit similar natural behavioral responses. Conservation programs that are successful usually provide environments large enough to accommodate increasing numbers and configured with enough elements for all to select burrow and nesting sites. Wildlife today can exist in captivity without being the end of the line. Natural Habitat creation is for the preservation of life and HTt creates the wild open spaces for no end!

Let's have a look around. Click here to explore more of "The Cave"

 
Next Exhibit
We’re Making Space!
© Hi-Tech-tonics ~ web site created by 2D Graphics