by Phillip D. Collins ©, Aug. 31st, 2005

Recently, the London Zoo welcomed a new addition to its collection of animals: man. Sequestered within the zoo’s bear enclosure, eight scantly dressed human beings “monkeyed around for the crowds” (Vinograd, no pagination). Affixed to the entrance to the exhibit was a sign reading: “Warning: Humans in their Natural Environment” (no pagination). Associated Press journalist Cassandra Vinograd describes the rationale underpinning the exhibit:

Tom Mahoney, 26, decided to participate after his friend sent him an e-mail about the contest as a joke. Anything that draws attention to apes, he said, has his support.

“A lot of people think humans are above other animals,” he told The Associated Press. “When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds us that we’re not that special.” Mark Ainsworth, 21, heard about the Human Zoo on the news.

“I’ve lived in this country for nine years and have never come to a zoo,” said Ainsworth. “This exhibit made us come to the zoo. Humans are animals too!” (no pagination)

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