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Reconciling User Needs in Animal Exhibit Design Carlyn Worstell
Content - Introduction - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - References

8. Conclusion

A survey conducted by the Cunningham Group in 1999, showed that nearly every zoo questioned mentioned that their greatest conflict is providing for animal welfare within the framework of having the animals on display. I hope this paper has offered some ideas that will help alleviate this conflict.

Observing successful, as well as unsuccessful, built exhibits is essential to understand how to create more successful exhibits in the future (Seidensticker & Doherty). I believe designers can learn a lot from the examples of existing exhibits mentioned in this paper, in the quest to further develop design techniques that help achieve the fullest potential of a zoo exhibit for all of its audiences.

I have shown examples of how exhibits can provide their visitors with an exciting experience that appeals to multiple senses, easier viewing of animals even in a large and complex enclosure, and a more accurate portrayal of the natural habitat of gorillas. At the same time, these design techniques provide the animals with privacy, physical comfort, and the space and means with which to carry out natural activities and social interactions. Design can directly aid in fulfilling a zoo’s educational goals, as animals who lead an enriched lifestyle in an appropriate habitat will display natural behaviors that can be observed and better understood by visitors.

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Revised 2011-10-30
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