The Zoo: Loving Touch

The simple idea behind the design of contemporary children's zoos is that the youngsters will love the animals more if they are given a chance to touch them. So it was for the new children's zoo at Seattle's Woodland Park. Says the zoo's architect, Fred Bassetti: "We wanted the kids to play tug of war with the monkeys, pet the rabbits, hug the lambs, be chased by the geese—in a word, to participate rather than just look." Hence a minimum of cages and fences.

When the zoo opened recently, cages seemed necessary after all—for the children. A first-day mob of more...

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