JEONJU, Oct. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — The South Korean public is divided over a recent move to abolish zoos, questioning the intent of breeding animals to show them to the public.
Amid the controversy, a zoo in North Jeolla Province is attempting to bring about happy coexistence between humans and animals.
It was 2015 when animals at Jeonju Zoo, located in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, were offered a new place to live.
As part of its renewal project, the zoo renovated enclosures for bears, tigers, lions, wolves, and other animals so that they can live in a larger habitat.
New living spaces were designed based on the needs of each animal. Bamboo and pine trees were planted for tigers, while various trees and plants from Africa were brought in for the lions.
For animals vulnerable to cold winter weather, the zoo installed artificial rocks that can be heated up to help animals warm themselves.
As part of this project, Jeonju focused on ‘giving animals various options’ when it comes to their living spaces by freeing them from small, narrow cages and offering them larger spaces to roam about, play, and lie down.
Most of the enclosures at the Jeonju Zoo, which first opened in 1978, were small, narrow, and in poor condition before the renovations took place.
“Larger spaces for animals mean less chances for visitors to see them,” said Seo Sae-hyeon, head of animal management at Jeonju Zoo. “As long as the animals like it, however, we also feel okay with it.”
The animals also seem to like their new homes. They were found to have gained more muscle in recent periodic health checks, indicating that they have grown stronger after moving about in the larger enclosures.
Jeonju Zoo plans to carry out the renewal project over the next couple years.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)