Visitors trespassing in the White Tiger exhibition area of ​​Beijing Wildlife Park, the concealed device plays a key protective role, so that there is no substantial contact between humans and animals

  How does the zoo's concealed device block the contact between humans and animals?

  Recently, in the self-driving tour area of ​​the Beijing Wildlife Park, a tourist got off the vehicle illegally, broke into the White Tiger exhibition area illegally, and confronted 11 white tigers.

Because a concealed device in the park played a key protective role, there was no substantial contact between the intruder and the animal.

  A staff member of the Beijing Wildlife Park once explained to a reporter from the Beijing News that in the self-driving area, the zoo isolates beasts from tourists (including staff) through concealed isolation technology, although tourists can watch white tigers, brown bears and other beasts up close. , And did not feel the existence of isolation, but animals did not have the opportunity to come to tourists' cars.

  What are hidden isolation measures?

How does it work?

Will it cause harm to animals?

In response to these issues, a reporter from the Beijing News invited Ma Ke, the leader of the landscape design group of the China Zoo Association, and Wang Fang, a researcher at the School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, to give detailed explanations.

  What are hidden isolation measures?

  Barriers that do not block the sight of tourists and are easily overlooked by tourists, such as trenches

  In the zoo, in order to ensure the safety of tourists and animals and prevent direct contact between the two sides, the park will adopt a variety of barrier methods.

  Ma Ke, head of the landscape design team of the China Zoo Association, told the Beijing News that the traditional and common barrier methods in zoos include net cages, walls, and glass partitions.

Concealed barrier facilities refer to barriers that do not block the sight of tourists and are easily overlooked by tourists, such as trenches.

  The trench is set between the animal area and the tourist area. It is divided into dry trenches and water trenches. The bottom of the former is mostly natural vegetation, and the latter is filled with water, similar to lakes or ponds. For example, some primates avoid contact with water bodies.

Its width and depth are determined according to the animal's jumping ability, "larger than the animal's maximum behavior distance, to ensure that the animal cannot jump." Ma Ke said.

  In addition, other facilities are often supplemented around the trench.

Ma Ke said that in order to allow more animals to appear at the core of the exhibition area and prevent animals from trying to approach the trench or escape, zoos often set up power grids, gravel, tree segments, etc. at the edges of the trenches. "Some herbivores are unwilling to step on On a sharp rock."

  However, these facilities are integrated with the natural environment, and visitors do not feel the existence of barriers and think that they are in the same space as the animals.

  Concealed barriers are more common in safari parks, "because there is an area similar to a car area." But Marco also revealed that not only safari parks will adopt them, "all zoos are choosing according to different display species. Appropriate barrier method."

  How does the zoo choose the barrier method?

  There is no uniform standard, the visit mode and suitability for animals need to be considered

  According to Marco, the zoo is very flexible when choosing barriers, and there is no uniform standard. However, two factors must be considered. The first is the visit mode, that is, "How does the park show animals to tourists? What's the angle of view".

In some safari parks, tourists are eager to "close up" tours, and the park will set up hidden barriers according to the sight range of the tourists in the car, "not only allow tourists to see the natural behavior of animals they want to see, but also hide them not. I would like to see the barrier method."

  Second, consider whether it is suitable for animals.

"In the small animal exhibition area, there is no need to use large trenches. The problem can be solved by using suitable terrain height differences. When setting up trenches, it is also necessary to consider whether the animals have the ability to run up and take off positions. Different barriers are used in different animal exhibition areas. It’s not at the expense of animal welfare."

  In addition, a variety of barrier methods can be combined.

For example, the power grid can not only limit and warn the range of activities of animals, but also improve the safety of trenches. It can be used as a safety device to strengthen the effect by restricting the jumping points of animals.

  Will the trench cause harm to animals?

  It will not cause fatal injury, but it needs to be guarded against hidden dangers

  Ma Ke told the Beijing News reporter that trenches are a more mature barrier method and will not cause fatal harm to animals. "An animal in a normal state will assess its safety before moving and will not force a jump." But the zoo also does not cause fatal injuries. The hidden dangers brought by the facilities must be considered.

  "Although animals do not jump actively, they may fall in accidentally due to fighting, etc., so a'V'-shaped trench can be used." Ma Ke explained that this trench is a vertical retaining wall on the side adjacent to the visitor, which is higher than the animal. The maximum range of vertical jumping ensures that animals cannot jump into the tourist area, but the side adjacent to the animals is a slope. "Even if the animal falls, it will land safely and can walk back to its own area."

  As for the power grid, Wang Fang, a researcher at the School of Life Sciences of Fudan University, said that power grids generally have two forms, one is in the shape of thin iron wires; A wire tree is also called "electric grass".

  "Generally, weak electricity is used, which should not do much harm to animals, but because they will be uncomfortable with electricity when they come here, the animals default to this as a fence, a bit like an electric fence used to block cattle on a Swiss pasture. It uses the animal’s conditioned reflex. Weak, but effective." Wang Fang said.

  Marco revealed that power grids are commonly used in domestic zoos. They are mostly placed on the ground and sometimes on the wall, but tourists rarely notice it.

"It cannot be said that the power grid is a friendly design, but it is indeed an effective means to prevent animals from escaping." Marco believes that the power grid, as a traditional and effective barrier means, does not necessarily have to be banned, but should be used rationally.

  How should barrier design be improved?

  Promote animal-friendly design, taking into account animal welfare and viewing effects

  "Whether it is the power grid or ponds and other barriers, the fear of animals is used." Ma Ke said that animal-friendly design is currently more respected internationally. It grows in an environment of security threats, but this also often brings about changes in the visit mode. "For example, with glass, the visit effect may be a little worse."

  In addition, in the walking tour area of ​​the zoo, animals can also be kept in fully enclosed net cages.

“It’s not like using an iron cage and paving a concrete floor to confine animals in it. That’s a backward concept.” Marco explained that it should be displayed in the form of community relations in the natural habitat of animals and the ecological environment. The mode of displaying individual animals in the zoo has been transformed into an ecological display mode composed of animals and surrounding ecosystems.

  Marco suggested that the zoo's venue designers should know more about the zoo-friendly design category. "There are many design principles that tell us how to design the venues and achieve the viewing effect of tourists while taking into account animal welfare and finding the balance."

  Written in this edition/Beijing News reporter Peng Chong

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