Imagine floating down a river in a pod that lets you see elephants up close and personal without having them see you. Not soon enough, it's becoming reality.
Dreamed up by architect Bjarke Ingels, who runs the architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and a team of folks with the Givskud Zoo in Denmark, "Zootopia" will be the world's most advanced zoo with a mission "to create the best possible and freest possible environment for the animals’ lives and relationships with each other and visitors."
But how? Animals liberated from tanks, cages, and fenced-in areas will be observed by humans from buildings hidden in the landscape, like holes cut into a hillside or bunkers buried beneath the ground, and in mirrored pods that can travel through water or from pedal-powered ziplines. There will also be a 2.5-mile hiking trail.
"It makes it much more enjoyable not only for the visitors, but also for the animals," Bjarke Ingels told USA Today. "They have much more desirable conditions."
This means there will be a cohabitation between the animals and humans, so instead of seeing just one or two tigers roaming around in a cage, you'll be able to see all sorts of animals living together in large habitats. It'll be somewhat like a safari.
Ingels plans to have three regions in the zoo - American, Asia, and Africa - all separated by man-made, yet seemingly natural, divides.
By the looks of the renderings, we already can't wait to check this place out! Let's just hope the elephants don't decide to kick the pods around like a bunch of soccer balls.