Zoos of the Future: Background information when reading Night of the Animals

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Night of the Animals

by Bill Broun

Night of the Animals by Bill Broun X
Night of the Animals by Bill Broun
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2016, 560 pages
    Apr 2017, 592 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky
Buy This Book

About this Book

Zoos of the Future

This article relates to Night of the Animals

Print Review

Bill Broun's debut novel, Night of the Animals, features the London Zoo - but in the future. What will zoos look like in the years to come? Animals roaming free while visitors lurk underground for a glimpse of them? Fewer elephants and more amphibians? No zoos at all?

According to various sources, including The Guardian and The Christian Science Monitor, these are just a few of the myriad possibilities for zoos in the future.

ZootopiaOne of these visions is already commanding attention in Denmark. Billed as a 300-acre expansion of Givskud Zoo, Zootopia, aiming for a 2019 opening, is designed to fool animals into thinking that there are no humans around. Visitors arrive at a bowl-shaped pavilion that offers paths to the different continents that the zoo offers. From there, they can see lions from a bunker located underneath a hill, see pandas through a bamboo screen, and look at giraffes from a hole cut in a hillside. There will also be mirrored pods in which visitors can fly above bears. (The idea is that the bears will only notice themselves if they look up.)

Detroit ZooZoos may also look to downsize in the future, finding that they can't reasonably provide the space necessary to house, say, elephants. In fact, this is already happening. In 2005, the Detroit Zoo became one of the first to close its elephant exhibit for that reason, sending their elephants to a sanctuary. In its place, they ramped up their efforts to highlight the importance of amphibians in ecosystems, expanding their National Amphibian Conservation Center. Advocates and conservationists see it as a model for protecting species and showing the public the value of amphibians – and in the process they stop doing harm to large animals such as elephants.

Frog at Detroit ZooAnd then, with rapid advances in technology in the last few years, perhaps app-driven zoos will be the future. There's an app called Animal Tracker, which lets you follow wild animals that are being tracked via tiny GPS tags they carry. These are stored at Movebank, used by hundreds of researchers and hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. The Institute itself tracks 223 birds with the app. Animals are free in their natural habitats, and humans are free to see them from afar. Or, if they're in that animal's area, they can also upload their own data and observations to the app.

Animal Tracker AppOther ideas for the future of zoos include more intense versions of what already exists: landscape immersion, making the lands at zoos closely represent animals' natural habitats, or a sanctuary model, which sacrifices exhibit space, but gives more room for animals to roam. Some zoos are considering focusing on animals that are best suited to the local climate, such as polar bears in Detroit where winter temperatures are often below zero.

Rendering of Zootopia, courtesy of BIG, the architectural firm designing the futuristic zoo.
National Amphibian Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo.
Frog at the Detroit Zoo
Animal Tracker App

Article by Rory L. Aronsky

This "beyond the book article" relates to Night of the Animals. It originally ran in September 2016 and has been updated for the April 2017 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everything Inside
    Everything Inside
    by Edwidge Danticat
    Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American writer, and Haiti looms large as a presence in this ...
  • Book Jacket: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...
  • Book Jacket: Marilou Is Everywhere
    Marilou Is Everywhere
    by Sarah Elaine Smith
    "The point is that at that moment in my life," writes the narrator of Sarah Elaine Smith's debut ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Yale Needs Women
    by Anne Gardiner Perkins

    A tale of courage in the face of arrogance that remains eerily relevant on U.S. campuses today.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Today We Go Home
by Kelli Estes

Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave military women of the past and present.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Chase Darkness with Me

How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?


Word Play

Solve this clue:

S S A C A Big S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.