Zoo Bans Animal Print Clothing to Avoid Confusing Animals

November 3, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. baffle [BAF-uh l] (v.) – to confuse someone
Example:  Her strange behavior this morning baffled her boss and some of her coworkers.

2. dress code [dress kohd] (n. phrase) – a set of rules specifying the kinds of clothes that one should wear
Example: The dress code in the theater includes comfortable work clothes and closed shoes.

3. zero-tolerance [ZEER-oh TOL-er-uh ns] (n. phrase) – the process of automatically imposing punishments, often severe, to any rule violator
Example: We did not bring any gum to Singapore because the country has a zero-tolerance ban on chewing gum.

4. bouncer [BOUN-cer] (n.) – a person who is employed in an establishment to drive out disorderly people
Example: The bouncer refused to let the girls in because they were inappropriately dressed for the event.

5. publicity stunt [puh-BLIS-i-tee stuh nt] (n. phrase) – any staged event designed to get the public’s attention; often for marketing purposes
Example:  Many people believe that the actor’s bizarre clothing and outrageous public behavior are just part of a publicity stunt designed to revive his career.


Read the text below.

A zoo in England has banned guests from wearing animal print clothing to avoid baffling the animals.

Located 17 miles away from London, the Chessington World of Adventures Resort said it decided to impose a dress code because certain animal prints may provoke strong reactions in some of the zoo animals, especially the giraffes and the rhinos.

According to the management of the zoo, the banned prints include zebra, giraffe, leopard, cheetah, tiger, striped hyena, and African wild dog. Furthermore, the ban will be a zero-tolerance rule, and bouncers will be stationed all around the zoo to ensure compliance. Guests who come wearing any of the banned prints will be asked to take their clothes off and wear Chessington clothing instead.

Robert Hilsenroth, executive director of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, believes that the dress code is well-intentioned and is not just a publicity stunt. According to him, prey animals can recognize certain colors and patterns in predators, and exposing them to predator prints may cause undue stress.

For example, a leopard print may scare off gazelles as they instinctively avoid leopards, who are their predators. Likewise, lions may get excited at the sight of a zebra print, because they feed on zebras and other animals.

Hilsenroth added that while this is the first time he has heard about a zoo imposing such a rule, he would not be surprised if zoos in other countries would follow suit.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of the ban on animal print clothing at the zoo? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think are animal prints extremely popular in fashion? Discuss with your tutor.

Discussion B

·         Is it important for zoos to ensure the welfare of the animals? Why or why not?
·         Do you agree that keeping animals in zoos and show parks are a form of animal cruelty? Explain.


November 3, 2013