In my book I describe and analyse the cultural influences on the zoological discussion, using the example of dolphin housing in Western European zoos. Starting point of the study was the again strengthening of a romantic view on nature in some zoos. The study stresses the distinction between cultural approaches and the welfare of the non-human animals. By using the example of zoo dolphinaria we refer to a path within the civic zoo history, which is usually quite different from other keeping approaches, zoologically as well as culturally. They are some kind of theatres in contrast e.g. to immersion landscapes or country style houses with extensive presentations and for the first time in the history of these zoos animal training has become a steady and major issue.

The senior lecturer and zoologist Dr. Udo Gansloßer attended this scientific book project, which had started in 2011 and lasted until its publication in 2016.

Our study is a literature work, which is embedded in the intellectual tradition of the traditional German university idea. The zoological paradigms of Heini Hediger and Adolf Portmann served as important reference points.

The publisher is Dr. Klaus Schüling. And the book is orderable since 01 October 2016 under the title “Delphine, Menschen und Delphinhaltung: Ein naturhistorisches Manifest für die Tierlehrerkunst in westeuropäischen Delphinarien, Zoos und Zirkussen”.

We had the following targets:

  • demonstrating that a civic and romantic view on nature is the misleading trial to synthesize the welfare of the non-human animal with a concept of man and the world as rooted in Christianity,
  • differentiation between language fragments refering to the cultural topic and such refering to the welfare of the non-human animal,
  • tidying up and analysing the aesthetic dimensions of zoos and dolphinaria as well as
  • outlining a zoological language based on a natural history zoological approach, which keeps the cultural factor in mind to prevent the scientist from synthesizing culture and the perspective of the non-human animal.