I recently made my first visit to the North Carolina Zoo, and I’m sorry it took so long to get there. Because of my experiences taking care of big cats rescued from roadside zoos, where animals are seriously mistreated and abused, and because zoos often breed exotic animals for profit, I have been boycotting zoos. And while many “zoos” are just profit machines and deserve to be shut down (and the owners prosecuted), the NC Zoo was an amazing experience and a place that I am proud to support and visit again and again.
The animals have huge habitats, as close as possible to their natural ones; there are large setbacks between viewers and the animals; when animals need special care, or are being introduced to their environment, they are off limits for visitors.
Throughout the zoo, there are amazing realistic sculptures of the animals. These chimp sculptures are highly stylized but still seem utterly realistic, as though they could walk away or scream at you.