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In a cruel trick of evolution, humans can stand just three feet from a ferocious animal and still be perfectly safe. This hour, Radiolab goes to the zoo.

What's with our need to get close to "wildness"? We examine where we stand in this paradox--starting with the Romans, and ending in the wilds of Belize, staring into the eyes of a wild jaguar.


Nell Boyce, Reporter Jocelyn Ford, Elizabeth Gould, David Hancocks, Grant Jones, Fernando Nottebohm, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz and Violet Sunde

Inside Out Cage

Is there such thing as a good cage? Happy gorillas, deft landscape architects, and neurologists show us that there just might be. We go back to the late 1970s to relive the moment when zoos began to change. Literally, the moment, that the modern ...

Comments [32]

Dead or Alive

Wanted: Meat. Preferably alive. That is, if you're a carnivore. But most carnivores in zoos find themselves being fed something more along the lines of a hamburger... or in zoo lingo "a meatsicle." And like in the movie "Supersize Me," the result of this diet is a bunch of overweight, ...

Comments [31]

Wild Eyes

We end the hour with the story of boy who feels great sadness at the zoo. He doesn't like cages so he sets out to dedicate his life to keeping animals in the wild. In the end though, he'll find himself back at the zoo, as a zoo employee, to ...

Comments [24]

Comments [75]

Geronimo of NA from Grass Valley, CA

As always Raido Lab is the best!

Aug. 03 2017 11:12 PM
Sierra from Wichita, KS

Alan Rabinowitz's story of the jaguar in the jungle gives me goosebumps every time!

Oct. 13 2015 12:34 PM
Trudi Nye from So. Lake Tahoe, Ca

Wonderful. Between Radio Lab, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me & This American Life, spent waaay too much time inside. Thanks for the great program.

Sep. 23 2015 04:55 PM
Patricia from San Diego

I'm a big fan of your show but have to say that, as an animal lover, I found the story of the Chinese live feeding parks extremely disturbing. I was driving when I was listening and almost had to pull over because I started to cry. The sound of the yowling of the tigers in the cage at the end pretty much did me in. It's amazing how hard hitting radio can be.

Sep. 21 2015 01:43 AM
Uncanny Resemblance from Boston Ma

I've always been baffled by not only callous brutality towards animals, but teh absolute glee some peopel take in it (that chicken? Did one person give a crap about that chicken?) . The arrogance in thingking you need to open an animals brain to know whether it;s happier being ocnifned iwth no enrichment vs. an open, natural environment only points to the fact that the wrong heads were being examined.

I'm also haunted by those poor yowling tigers; thsoe pitiful calls of suffering and despair have been in my head all day. While amimals are mistreated everywhere, China for some reason is espeically sadistic in in its treamtent of animals.

Sep. 19 2015 10:11 PM
Dan T from Minneapolis

Thanks for making this. It left me in tears. Thank you. Beautiful.

Sep. 19 2015 04:09 PM
Doris from California

What an excellent program! All three episodes. So many intelligent thinking points not only about zoos but about men's true nature and our need of communication with animals. Thanks Radiolab team!

Sep. 19 2015 03:22 PM

I would like to suggest you check out Space Farms Zoo in Beemerville, NJ for a follow up on this subject. It is family run (3rd or 4th generation), but what makes it possibly interesting to you is that the zoo feeds its carnivores raw meat diets which is supplied through contracts with municipalities to pick up their road kill. In rural NJ, meat like deer and other smaller mammals is plentiful.

Also interesting is that Space Farms has a very high reproductive and longevity rate, despite minimal medical intrusion. This is attributed to (in addition to diet) lack of noise, air and light pollution. The zoo, for instance closes at 5:00 pm so that animals have down time. There are no street lights and only country roads around them. Their reproductive success is internationally well known; they have bred Hokkaido bears to help restore that species to its native Japan.

Not everybody is a fan of this zoo, but it is a very unique place that may be a great follow up for your listeners.

Jan. 15 2015 12:35 PM
Sona Mason

Jad & Rob,

Thank you for having the courage to broadcast a deeply disturbing issue such as this.

What can we do to improve the lot of wild creatures like this caged tiger?

Can you point us in the right direction?

Such cruelty cannot be ignored in our lifetime.

Appreciate your advice

Mar. 23 2014 11:28 AM
Rosalie Fox from Vermont

Amidst a blinding snowstorm in S. Vermont this evening, I found myself so engrossed in this program that I missed my usual highway turnoff, traveling an extra ten miles before I came back to reality. The variety of segments, the engaging editing, and the fabulous hosts and guests made this an exceptional radio experience.

Mar. 19 2014 10:46 PM

I think the hosts of Radiolab should do a story on the difference in size and activity of the corpus collosum between male and female humans. Add to this the effects of testosterone vs. oxytocin, and perhaps you will begin to understand your own absolute emotional detachment in reporting that a primate researcher "took a few individuals and looked at their brains."
Second, it's easy to judge an entire country (China) than recognize the horrific brutality toward animals that occur every second in the U.S. where 9.5 BILLION "farm" animals are slaughtered because the taste of their muscles please our taste buds. Add to that the regular slaughter of zoo animals, 4 million cats & dogs annually, 100,000 wild animals killed annually by U.S. Wildlife Services,billions of animals killed in research labs, and you will see a barbaric, blood-thirsty culture right here at home.
The most sickening part of all of this is that the hosts of RadioLab don't see themselves as participants in this ongoing, sadistic cruelty. Your minds obviously lack empathy. Why not investigate that, and provide your listeners with some solutions?

Mar. 18 2014 07:17 PM
samantha from MA

I thought the tiger yowling was so heartbreaking to hear. I still believe zoos are the saddest place for animals I do understand the benefits but personally I hate going to zoos but will so that my grandson can see that their is a world beyond what we can immediately see.

Mar. 18 2014 05:23 PM
María M jiménez from bogota

Killing animals for fun shows? I live in Bogotá where we have a huge Bull fighting.

I am anti bullfighting and vegetarian.

Mar. 18 2014 03:03 PM
Ken Moore from Birmingham, AL

Is this what happens to astronauts? - Your segment in caged animals and brain stimulation got me to thinking. When the gorilla (KiKi?) held up the concrete, and then dropped it, I had an aha! Moment. Is this what happens to astronauts who, when after seeing the Earth from space, say something changes in their brains. Earth is a cage in a way.
Not a scientist. Just a mailman who loves your show.
I am a member of WBHM.

Mar. 18 2014 08:36 AM
Jennifer Seligman

that tiger yowling reminded me of my cat crying to be let out or back in, but so much worse. The tiger was crying--it was crying for freedom. So sad.

Mar. 17 2014 10:33 PM
Char Catt Lyon from Cincinnati

Regarding the segment on outdoor gorilla exhibits, The Woodland Zoo stated that they were the first to build an outdoor gorilla exhibit, which opened in 1979, and that it had never been done before—wrong!! The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden opened a beautiful outdoor exhibit in 1978, which was in the planning for several years.
Every major zoo and aquarium is a member of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA) and information is readily shared, so the idea that these people in Seattle, were working on this breakthrough idea all alone, is ridiculous.

Mar. 16 2014 10:25 PM

I thought a pacing tiger with too little room to roam was a heartbreaking thing. That yowling tiger just tore me up.

Mar. 16 2014 09:43 PM
Carolyn C from Los Angeles

I just listened to your broadcast on the gorillas and the effect of the zoo environment on their brains. So, what does this say about our jails? What does this say about the effect of living in a jail on a human's brain? Could these people take what they have learned and figure out how we can improve our jails to reduce the anger and violence of inmates and to better prepare them to reenter society when they are paroled?

Mar. 16 2014 07:42 PM
Valerie from Seattle

As far as comments to China officials about the cruelty to tigers and other animals at the China Zoos: Here are the email addresses to China's Ambassador to the UN: and China's Ambassador to the US:

Mar. 16 2014 03:03 PM
Pam H from Mebane, NC

The yowling tiger will haunt me the rest of my like. It truly is sickening. This is the world we live in- Makes you almost want to die..... I don't go to the zoo or circus.

Mar. 16 2014 02:56 PM
Kevin from Chapel Hill, NC

Thank you for all of your quality productions. I got to listen to most of the zoo episode on my way to work today. I wanted to add, for anybody that wants to follow up, that the Carolina tiger rescue in Pittsboro NC feeds all of its big cats meat on a daily basis. From deer brought in by hunters to steaks and chickens donated by local grocery stores. Often you can see sections of whole animals (mostly just bones are left) in the tiger and lion cages

Mar. 16 2014 02:41 PM
Jerri Columpus from Eugene, OR

Your program on zoos today was absolutely gripping. I don't think I'll be able to forget the sound of the tigers in cages in China, yowling. It is heart breaking.

Mar. 15 2014 06:48 PM
Barbara from Chatham, IL

Loved the show - wish I had heard it all...I was looking for the story of KIKI as I find confinement to stunt us all.

Mar. 15 2014 06:43 PM
Lily Green

I have listened to Radiolab a few times and whichever story is being told, it seems that you are speaking to grade school children. Also, there is this annoying background music that often overtakes the speakers and is very distracting. I'm sure someone there thinks this is making the story more dramatic but it is far from working. The childlike discussions are less than educational and patronizing. In your show about zoos, it seems that it was less concerned if zoos were cruel and harmful, to the animals they are supposed to be saving, and more about gratuitous stories of violence. I would have liked to hear more about how zoos are actually helping the animal kingdom or saving endangered species but there seems to be little evidence of that. For your story to be a little more well rounded you could have included the amount of profit that is made through the caging of animals in zoos and places like Seaworld and how thousands of animals are tortured and killed to capture a few for zoos, to then live in a cage and be gawked at by humans. Another point of interest might have been to ask how adults, who have visited zoos as a child, now actively help or have changed their life in order to protect any part of the animal kingdom. This is often something zoos use as a reason to house animals, they say it will make children and adults, by seeing these lovely and fascinating creatures more considerate and generous when it comes to saving endangered species. Where are the statistics on this? And exactly how are we modern humans different from the Romans, who slaughtered endless amounts of beautiful creatures?

Mar. 15 2014 05:00 PM
Andrea Faber from Oakland, Ca.

I'm listening to the radio at the moment and it's about zoos in China and I feel ill. I just heard the sound of
a tiger howling, apparently being kept in a cage just its size. I hate China anyway because of how they're
causing the elephants to be slaughtered for their tusks and the rhinos for their horns to make the Chinese men
think they'll be more virile if they ingest the ground up rhino horn. We just came back from visiting some
tiger preserves in India where the Chinese pay poor farmers to kill the tigers there, too. The sound of that
tiger howling will haunt me. I also heard recently on the radio the sound of a rabbit having its fur pulled out
by the Chinese who have farms there to get the fur out of the Angora rabbit while it's alive. PETA apparently
was able to get that recording. Is there no end to the cruelty and barbarity of the Chinese culture?

Mar. 15 2014 05:00 PM
Susan Patterson from Sebastopol, California

Please, if anyone knows of an organization dedicated to liberating the tigers (gut wrenching yowling and despair),
and outlawing these feeding zoos, please post it. I am beyond disgusted and shamed by the cruelty of humans
to animals. Why do the Chinese always behave cruelly to animals? Between the poaching trade and harvesting
the animal's parts for so-called aphrodesiacs, and controlling these poor incarcerated cats, it appears to me that
as a culture, they are over-compensating for feelings of sexual inadequacy.

Mar. 15 2014 04:44 PM
Pauline Foss from colorado springs

When I listened to the story of the Chinese teasing the lions with live chickens and then throwing them out of the window I was appalled at the shouting and yelling and laughing of the people in the bus! Then you continued by telling us that after the chicken incident the people went into a shooting gallery and the yowling of the poor caged lion ... did those barbaric people shoot the lion? A canned hunt? I tried to think of something else that they might do but I couldn't and I can't stop crying. After today I will always think of the Chinese as barbaric, and ignorant.

Mar. 15 2014 04:33 PM

Zoos. I add my voice, in support, to the comment left by Sabine Roehr from Jersey City.

I wanted to add that in my experience with Chinese culture in Hong Kong and The New Territories, as they were called back then, some Chinese have no problem with what I regard as extreme cruelty to animals. Cruelty that had absolutely nothing to do with life lessons for the young.

Mar. 15 2014 04:13 PM

I agree with the comment that your shows have become lazy retreads. This (zoo) episode for one is EXCRUCIATING to listen to. Robert's laughter after several sections is particularly disturbing. Do you view every subject as merely something "interesting" to make your cute little comments about? If you can't include information on how to end these inhumane practices, then please spare us the heartless details. And you should really think about finding some new material.

Mar. 15 2014 03:57 PM
Liz from New Jersey

I gave up on Radio Lab about a year ago because it was all reruns, no new episode. So, I tuned in today, just to see if things had improved and, sigh, it's another old episode rerun. I've heard this several times and if I wanted to listen to it again, I have the podcast.

I used to love you, Radio Lab, but you are a shadow of your earlier self, your first few years when you produced amazing, exciting radio programs. You're coasting and you have been for a while now.

Maybe it's time to just call it a day and move on to new programming your staff is excited to produce?

Mar. 15 2014 12:09 PM
Sabine Roehr from Jersey City

Are you out of your mind to promote this Chinese attitude towards animals? If we don't eat them they'll eat us? Really?? If we don't eat chickens they eat us? I have never heard anything like this before on your show. At least you could critically challenge it. The utter callousness of dropping a live chicken out of the window of a tour bus to be ripped apart by lions boggles my mind. Lions do NOT eat chickens in the wild. There is nothing natural about it whatsoever. One imprisoned animal being fed to another imprisoned animals. I am turning off the radio right now!

Mar. 13 2014 08:48 PM
SandraInChile from Chile

This is in response to the episode on caged tiger, jaguars, etc in zoos//parks. This Sunday I took in a fourth kitten that I found on the street in Coquimbo, Chile. Life is very hard for cats here as they are treated in general as rodents instead of pets. I so thank all of you out there taking care of and advocating for humane treatment for animals. If anyone has any ideas on how to get people to re think how they conceptualize animals as scintillant beings, I am all ears. . When the caged tigers were crying on the radio my felines stared at the speaker, I wonder what was going through their minds. Stay well everyone, Sandra, yes, really in Chile

Mar. 12 2014 02:33 PM

The part where the reporter was in China watching the live chickens was very hard to listen to. The attitudes of the locals toward killing animals was disgusting. They just don't care about animals at all over there. Very selfish culture.

Aug. 29 2013 01:05 AM
Billy from Pasadena, CA

Wait xD That Zoo song is Robert Krulwich? xD Brilliant!! Where can I download that!!

Aug. 20 2013 03:14 PM
Deja Vu

Haven't I heard this before? Wild eyes is a great story - but recycling isn't great story-telling.

Aug. 19 2013 10:47 PM
Laura from Florida

People need to beware of Big Cat Rescue, listed in one of the comments. Try Feline Conservation and other organizations that aren't so subject to controversy. › News Center

Aug. 19 2013 10:20 AM
Greg Levorchick from California

The interview with Dr. Rabinowitz was very moving. Such great life experiences that were conveyed very well. We are fortunate to live in southern California with both the SD Zoo and Wild Animal Park(Safari Park) where the exhibits provide a more natural environment with area for the animals to roam. Doesn't always provide for the best viewing of the animals, but it's a worthwhile trade off and a lot of the time more facinating watching them move & interact. I can see in myself and my children the importance of zoos and the empathy & understanding it fosters of the natural world and the other creatures that inhabit our planet. Zoos provide invaluable life connections. Thank you for another fantastic program.

Aug. 19 2013 03:49 AM

the yowling of the tiger: enough said. my heart is sick.

another blood-curdling moment: the children's laughter at the sight of the gratuitously horrible spectacle of feeding live chickens to the lions.

PS: the mama-daughter duo enjoying the spectacle of the squirrel falling into the leopard's cage and the little one calling it "stupid", note how the mama doesn't teach her that may be the wrong way to see it.

Aug. 18 2013 05:09 PM
Suz from DC

I skimmed the comments but didn't see addressed what stood out to me while listening to this show: If caged animals generally go mad with boredom and restriction, the same generally is likely true with people. I hope Radiolab takes that leap and if it hasn't already, puts together a show on caged people in prisons. Maybe first start with the goal of prisons: protecting the public, punishing criminals. But all crimes aren't equal, yet for the most part, it seems most punishments are. Also, what about nursing homes? Those are similar type confines. Where is the mental stimulation there?

Re the poster "Underfed." If more clarity would help as to who is speaking maybe the producers can focus on that. But I find that Radiolab's approach to its shows is to first grab the listener's attention--and then keep it. And for the most part it works with me, and I bet others as well. So, thanks Radiolab. I might not have found the show as riveting if it was just straight, dull reporting. I like your approach.

Aug. 18 2013 02:31 PM

I find Radio Lab is the worst program on radio. You guys steal the narrative of the experts and one can't tell who is talking. Every sentence is several people talking. You must think its clever but after a few minutes its puerile.

I don't feel I'm getting the information from the experts, but rather your interpretation on knowledge and what you present is tedious and boring.

If programs like this continue you will breakdown public radio as we know it.

Aug. 18 2013 12:54 PM
Rafe B

Robert (and anyone else who's curious):

The reason that many facilities don't use live feeds is not due to guest squeamishness or animal cruelty concerns - it's to mitigate the risk to the animals in the zoo's collection. For example, rare or endangered species of snakes can be bitten or otherwise harmed by a rodent fighting for its life, for instance, and that's why stunned or euthanized prey are used.

(While not directly involved in the field of animal husbandry myself, my ex was a zookeeper and large predator volunteer for ten of the twelve years we were together. I've had the opportunity to be behind the scenes in both research facilities and public zoos, and get much closer to many of the animals and their exhibits, as well as gain an understanding of animal husbandry practices, than I would otherwise.)

Aug. 18 2013 11:54 AM
Jamin Doyle

Rabinowitz is back. I've been listening to NPR and now, Radiolab features the wild life preservationalist Alan Rabinowitz or, he who stutters rather, the man who talks to animals. The cage in the Bronx Zoo, NY. "Once I will find a place for us." The Jaguar encounter in the jungle. A numinous experience in Belize.

Aug. 18 2013 10:29 AM
Ray Cotta from Miami, Fl.

I agree that making a spectacle of chickens being eaten alive is somehow perverse. But, it is less cruel than the way our mega industrial agricultural system keeps chickens in breast deep feces, in overcrowded conditions, and fed a mix of ingredients and antibiotics nature never meant them to consume. Sadly, the same is true for virtually all animals raised for slaughter by the huge companies that run factory farms.

Aug. 17 2013 10:05 PM
David Robertson from Pendleton,Oregon

This story was incredibly moving. The gorillas entering the habitat for the first time was some of the best story telling I have heard. This show is well written and always interesting. Thanks for the hard work.

Aug. 17 2013 09:00 PM
Vince S. from Minneapolis

Thank you Radiolab for outstanding human stories of our experinces on this planet. They are sometimes moving or painful or funny, but aways educational and well done. I LOVE THIS PROGRAM!!!!

Aug. 17 2013 07:21 PM
Chris Fitzgerald from Washington State

Romans were a people who gave us many good things, but where animals and unfavored peoples were concerned - they were monsters.

If you really want to expose the unspeakable brutality of the Chinese toward animals - do a show about their torture of raccoon dogs, and bears held in iron body-hugging cages their entire lives, "milked" daily through a crude hole carved in their side for their bile. No treatment or enhancement of human life is worth that agony. But that's the monsters' claim for it, may they rot in hell while being milked daily for eternity.

It is disturbing to know that a culture that died, and one that has unfortunately been alive for centuries, thrives on the agony of other sentient creatures. We are all the poorer for it; may God Bless the Beasts, and put an immediate end to the atrocities of senseless humans upon the innocents. Amen.

Aug. 17 2013 04:38 PM

This episode did not comment explicitly in any way about the questions that revolve around the way humans treat animals: the issues are many--do people need to eat meat for biological reasons? Should people avoid eating meat for moral reasons? How should we treat various other species? Will the Chinese children in the bus throwing chickens to the lions, and the kids watching the tigers eating baby cows, have less mirror neurons (needed for empathy and the capacity for compassionate action) than children who are raised vegetarian for moral reasons? These are important questions that deserve both a scientific and philosophical look that is not raised very often on NPR. These issues deserve a Radio Lab show.

Aug. 17 2013 04:05 PM
Martha Older from Boston

This is a true story, possibly about a snow leopard. (I could track this down if you ever want to use it for a show.) The leopard was confined to a small space in a zoo for a long time, and spent its time pacing around the edges. Eventually. it was removed and given a larger space (in a natural setting?). It continued to pace out its original dimensions and never did enlarge it.

Aug. 17 2013 04:01 PM
sam from boise idaho

what made you think that hearing a terrified chicken being fed to lions would not be extremely disturbing? what makes you think that chickens do not experience terror? i agree that having more humans know where their own food comes from is a good idea......seeing those conditions is important to becoming aware of our arrogance concerning the treatment of all living beings.....however, neither the chicken nor the lion has the freedom of choice and we do.......there lies the difference and it is huge!

Aug. 17 2013 03:50 PM
Angela from Brooklyn, NY

We are not so removed from the "brutal" Romans, lest we forget the abusive conditions of our factory farms, a nightmare on the grandest scale imaginable.
Only difference is our attempts to operate behind closed doors.

Aug. 17 2013 12:15 PM
Amaranta from california

Thank you radiolab for bringing fascinating stories and creatively telling them. As a biologist working with captive and wild animals this story hit home and every piece I felt personally connected to. Zoos have come a long way and the introduction of challenging feeding bouts for captive large mammals is a step in the right direction. However, china's idea is a step in the wrong direction. Finding a balance, globally, is a must, but will only come from awareness. Having personally worked on jaguar conservation in South America, Alan Rabinowitz has been one of my idols for a long time. Like many wildlife biologists, we all have our memorable encounters with incredible creatures that most of the world will never experience. As someone who had close encounters with wild jaguars, those moments can never be recreated and will always remain life altering moments in the presence of such dangerous and mystical creature.
I would like to see more stories about species in the zoo that are not so well known or charismatic, because they too are affected and need attention.
Thanks for the stories, keep them coming. Will there be any update to this story since its been told for the last two years?

Aug. 17 2013 03:04 AM

How can we help those tigers. I am crying at my desk, I have to do something to help them.

Aug. 16 2013 08:23 PM
Matt from Virginia

Thanks for mentioning Landscape Architects and Landscape Architecture! In an often mis-understood profession, it's nice to get an accurate mention of what we can do!

Aug. 16 2013 10:14 AM

You mean it's wrong to imprison animals?


Jul. 11 2013 01:26 AM
Amy from Boston

Oh, the sound of that tiger yowling. I had tears in my eyes. It's a deeper, throatier version of the sound my domestic cat makes if I accidentally shut her out of my bedroom at night. Loneliness and desperation, if those can be attributed to cats.

Apr. 26 2013 03:31 PM
Chris M. from Queens, NY

I've always felt deeply empathetic toward animals, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to listen to this show. I don't believe in using animals for our entertainment and I think the idea of putting other animals on display to fulfill our curiosity and for our amusement is disturbing and barbaric. I decided to tune in anyway and I am glad I did even though I did find myself tearing up more than once. I was especially moved to hear about the gorillas and of course, hearing about the tigers in China and the feeding of live animals was heartbreaking. Its really important to make more people aware of these issues. How we treat animals is an indicator of our own nature. It seems though, as mentioned on the show, that our relationship to animals is still evolving, that our species is developing more respect and appreciation for other creatures. This gives me hope that one day we will be able to eliminate the unnecessary suffering of animals.

Sep. 10 2012 11:42 PM
Paula Weinstein from New Paltz, NY

Incredible program..please air more like that. The jaguar story brought me to tears..Thank you, Thank you.

Sep. 10 2012 02:15 PM
Jim Harris from Philadelphia, PA

Thanks for the show about zoos. I consider myself an animal rights advocate, but I know major change won't happen overnight. The more open information and discussions we have about our relationships with the other animals, the better. The best thing we can do about China is invite them into the discussion. We're no angels here in America either.

Please do more shows about animals!

Sep. 09 2012 02:11 PM
Yvonne Kita from New Jersey

Have not listened yet but read the comments. In response to those who want to know more about helping wild cats, you could start with They are an exotic cat rescue group in Tampa, Florida. Lots of info on their website. Also check into In Defense of Animals.

Sep. 09 2012 08:56 AM
danielle from santa monica

I am amazed that you are airing this miserable program about China's horrible live feeding zoos-
the tigers are starving- only fed when people spend money - hence the "intense look in their eyes"-
China is brutal to animals- and no of them care at all - one of my biggest problems with many cultures-
Chinas confinement of tigers alone should make them stop- what horrible people so many are-
as for the miserable zoo woman who thinks we "should have no connection" to watching animals eat each other- perhaps there is a spot on the Koch lab experiment panel she can get

Sep. 08 2012 06:43 PM
Danielle Charney from Santa Monica

Listening to this enrages me that a quack - in it for the money - like Gould is paid to do these obvious brutal and repetitive experiments on animals- she is a nightmare - she was known in the past for pushing her ego to the forefront with Repressed Memory Therapy- destroying families everywhere and making every angry irresponsible woman out there cling to thinking her father raped her- Gould should have her license lifted and not be allowed to torture creatures better than herself- the RMT turned out later to be complete BS as are her experiments here-
I am surprised that you have stooped to his as a fodder for a program - there are really good scientists out there- and cutting edge people doing research on animals without torturing them for money and promoting themselves

Sep. 08 2012 06:23 PM
Larry Baker from sioux falls sd

please! it is pronounced ZOE-ology, not zoo-ology. only 2 oo in order, not the 3 you'd need to say zoo-ology! sorry, just a major irritant on mine.

Sep. 08 2012 04:35 PM
James Wallace from Fresno, CA

I’m generally ambivalent about zoos. We have a wonderful zoo in Fresno, considered one of the best in California, which I do visit enough. After hearing the yowls of the caged big cats in your program, I find myself, a 51 year old man, weeping in my kitchen.

Sep. 08 2012 03:51 PM
Andrew Campbell from Putnam County, NY

Dr. Rabinowitz represents well what I would call 'spiritual'. He seems to be aware of it, understand it and express it very well. Not the dogma, chant, ceremony of religion, as we usually think of it (easily specified and performed, but very often leading to all sorts of perversion/perversity--war, intolerance) but another level of our experience, something real and powerful but abstract, a connection with the more subtle aspects of our life and what we find here. Connecting with the life and existance within us and all around us--there is apparently much more here than we usually see. I just hope we can recognize this and learn to appreciate it and take care of it, on a broader scale before we lose it.

He was recently, a year ago and repeated this year, interviewed on 'On Being' with Krista Tippett. (Also available on-line.)

Sep. 08 2012 11:20 AM

Today's program made me smile and weep. I often enjoy having a range of emotions apart from critical and thorny. Keep up the good work!

Sep. 07 2012 01:06 PM
WilDavis from Nashua, NH

Just like all the other RadioLab programmes, the concept is interesting, but is totally ruined by the "dramatic" voices, the fake effects and the dreadful overuse of the SFX and the drenching of the whole thing in the wretched musak. Verges? What are verges? Just how ignorant can you get? - Wil Davis

Sep. 07 2012 12:22 PM
bachauer from netherlands

I really enjoyed the show, thank you. Concerning the caged tigers at the end of the show, I wanted to ask, if the producers or maybe other readers know more about this and if there was any action taken. I understand dealing with china, there is probably nothing one can do, but I just wanted to know, if there is more information about it.

thank you for the great show

Apr. 01 2012 01:25 PM

I was just wondering if anyone knew what song was used in the musical interlude at 43:50. Thanks

Feb. 26 2012 06:32 PM
Kristen Landberg from Bend, Oregon USA

Never have I been so moved by any episode of Radiolab or any NPR show. My heart still hurts when I think of that wild cat meowing behind bars. Thank you so much. RIGHT NOW I am going to research wild cat charities to see how I can help them. Thank you for a brilliant show!!

Jan. 28 2012 06:02 PM
Dan Brown from Connecticut

Chimpanzees and gorillas are not monkeys; they are apes. Monkeys usually have tails, and they are usually not as intelligent as the great apes.

Nov. 21 2011 08:08 PM
Elyse Greenberg from Washington DC

well done, Thank you. The yowling of the tigers trapped and confined has left me sickened, sad and not sure what I can do to help ? Any advice on how to be of assistance from the reporters and authors ?

Oct. 23 2011 09:16 PM
Gertrude Mary from Moore Creek Australia

my goodness, what a goldmine! i have been downloading and listening to your wonderful shows for 2 weeks. Thanks for sharing such remarkable discoveries, matched with unbelievable stories. Inspirational!

Oct. 20 2011 12:21 AM

The yowling of the tigers in the one portion of this episode brings me nearly to tears, and I'm not sure why. I've listened to this episode twice now, and each time this is the part that gets me. I'm not necessarily inclined to tigers, I find their future grim and that's horribly sad, but I don't stay up at night worrying about it (I probably should). So why it affects me I think is the whole production of the show and the way it's presented- it really makes you feel for the animals- the dichotomy of the circus music going on in the background the laughter and such, clashing with this horrible image of metal bars and the sound of giant cats just agonizing in an everlasting prison of boredom and neglect. It's horrible. Frightening. It makes me want to do more to protect wildlife, makes me wish I was more conscious of my environmental decisions- and that is why Radiolab is so great. It makes you want to act, makes you want to share, and it's not just entertainment- it truly enriches your life. Thank you so much for this!

Oct. 19 2011 11:37 AM
M Davey from Baton Rouge

I spend lots of time outdoors in wild areas, so can appreciate how incredibly rare was Rabinowitz' wild jaguar encounter . Yet, it also has the ring of truth. I've heard versions of stories like that for years about other large predators. They are always told in reverent, hushed tones, accompanied by..."I'll probably never see anything like this again".

Not a big fan of zoos, either , but if they spark such passion in only a few people like him, they are worth it. Only rarely does a piece move me as this one did.

Please pass along my thanks to all involved.

Feb. 25 2011 02:11 PM
Albert Nemiroff from USA

zoölogical: zoh oh logical, please.
similarly oöcyte: oh oh cyte.
The balance of the presentations: KUDOS!

Jan. 02 2011 05:19 PM

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