Jon has become a leading voice in the campaign to improve living conditions for zoo animals through the design of built-in as well as changing environmental and behavioural enrichment opportunities. He has written and lectured extensively about the need to give zoo animals much more choice and control over their lives in more challenging and complex environments. So with conference convener, long-time friend and colleague Monika Fiby of ZooLex http://www.zoolex.org, he suggested this zoo design conference focus on the animal’s side of the zoo experience, and volunteered to introduce this approach as keynote speaker. From this podium he introduced his animal welfare concept of the “Five New Freedoms” for zoo animals to:
Achieve Competence: “Effective performance of normal functions” Oxford Living Dictionary online
Have Choice: “The right or ability to choose.” Oxford Living Dictionary online
Take Control: “The power to influence...the course of events” Oxford Living Dictionary online
Experience Variety “The quality of being different or diverse; the absence of uniformity or monotony.” Oxford Living Dictionary online
Engage Complexity: “The quality of being intricate or complex” Oxford Living Dictionary online
Sketch by Natascha Meuser
The conference, held in Wroclaw, Poland and hosted by Wroclaw Zoo Director Mr. Radoslaw Ratajszczak attracted 250 delegates from 89 countries, including areas as distant as Brazil, South Africa, Australia and Japan.
Jon with conference convener Ms Monika Fiby during opening session. Photo by John van Laarhoven
Jon has written over 60 papers on zoo planning and design (see publication link) as well as participating in many award-winning projects and has attracted a following over the years. After the conference over a dozen delegates asked to have their photos taken with Jon...surprising and gratifying.
Click to read Wroclaw Conference paper.