Cage-free zoo to open in Denmark

'Zootopia' will hide humans in a bid to reduce stress for animals

Cage-free zoo to open in Denmark: Zootopia

A Danish architect is attempting to reinvent the zoo as we know it with his 'Zootopia' - a space where humans are hidden from view.

Bjarke Ingels is embarking on a project to expand and redevelop the Givskud Zoo in Givskud, Denmark.

Bjarke Ingels envisions his 'Zootopia' to be a place where animals can roam free without cages, and where humans can observe them without being seen by the animals, from beneath the ground, or hidden in piles of logs.

The 13-million-square-foot, 300-acre site in Southern Denmark would be a place where the animals did not know humans were there, so taking away the often stressful feeling of being observed.

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) wants to do away with buildings altogether. Visitors will be able to view lions from a bunker buried beneath a hill, watch pandas through a bamboo screen, and see giraffes through holes on a hillside.

According to the Guardian, BIG says: "Instead of copying the architecture from the various continents by doing vernacular architecture, we propose to integrate and hide the buildings as much as possible in the landscape."

Cage-free zoo to open in Denmark: Zootopia

Phase one of the zoo is being planned for 2019, to celebrate the Givskud Zoo's 50th anniversary.

Instead of having public pathways surrounding enclosures, there will be a "central circular piazza" from which visitors venture "into the wild" to explore three themed continents.

They can cycle through the African savannah, boat along a river through Asia, and go on mirrored cable cars over America.

According to, the Asia area (or loop) will be accessed by mirrored boats, and the African area will be for mirrored bicycles.

Everything will be mirrored in an attempt to make it less stressful for the animals.

The paper highlights that a recent report in the New York Times suggested animals who live in captivity suffer from a range of emotional problems from their interactions with humans.

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