chapter  17
13 Pages

Reconfi guring wild spaces: the porous boundaries of wild animal geographies

ByHenry Buller

Like all zoos, by defi nition, Paignton Zoo in Devon, South West England, is a physically bounded space. Not only do the different animal exhibits live in variously designed enclosures within the general zoo space – including a Hagenback-style moat-and-concrete baboon display, a glass-walled and video-surveilled lion park, as well as a total-immersion hangerlike super-heated reptile environment – but the zoo itself, which lies in a wooded valley, is also enclosed by a large, secure fence separating it, to the north, from a large supermarket and, to the south, from a housing estate replete with sea views. This external fence defi nes the zoo as a distinctive space and the animals within it as fundamentally exotic to this temperate, generally rainy, coastal, and densely humanized region.