Car Wreck in Rhino Pond at Vienna Zoo

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If you happen to visit Vienna Zoo in Schönbrunn this summer, you may see things you’ve never seen in other zoos and at first, the view could be a bit frightening or at least confusing. It almost looks like ecological thinking and a sense for cleanliness are completely alien to the zoo’s management.

How else would you explain the big oil pump in the penguin sector or the submerged car wreck in the rhino pond? Alligators have to accept a truck tire and other garbage in their pavilon, the bizons share their exhibit with railroad track and the fish have what seems to be a radioactive waste can in their underwater empire.

Don’t be afraid, things are not what they seem to be and the management and staff of the Viennese zoo maintain their outstanding record. This summer they allowed the creative German duo, sculptor Christoph Steinbrener and photographer Reiner Dempf, to play a bit with the zoo and create images of clean nature and animals coupled with the worst we can imagine of human harm to nature.

Obviously the artwork has an objective of challenging our stereotypes of how wildlife looks like and raise awareness of environmental risks and their impact on animals. The installations are temporary and will remain there till 18 October 2009. The zoo is open daily from 9 am to 18:30 pm in summer. Check the official website of Vienna zoo.

For more information and reasoning by the authors visit their website at Steinbrener-Dempf. One last quick note: no animals were harmed in this experiment.