06/21/2013 05:35 pm ET

Table Talk: The Philadelphia Zoo Is Making Exciting Changes


This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

When you think of a zoo, you probably picture different kinds of animals living separately, in cages, tanks and other artificial habitats -- and mostly staying put.

But the folks at the Philadelphia Zoo have a different idea. They are working on a major plan, the first of its scale in the world , to redesign their grounds so that animals can move outside their individual living spaces along a system of trails. By the time this new design is finished, years from now, trails will be available to animals of all kinds -- from monkeys to zebras and beyond -- allowing them to explore the entire area of the zoo and interact with their human visitors in a whole new way.

Questions for discussion:
  • How will the new plan change the way animals experience life in the zoo?
  • How would it change your experience at a zoo to see animals roaming around trails?
  • What kind of animal is your favorite and why?
  • Do you think zoos are appropriate places for wild animals to live?

In her cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.



Animal Parents