PATIENT (LEFT): Willie, donkey. AFFLICTION: Depression over change in habitat. PATIENT (RIGHT): Sukari, Masai giraffe. AFFLICTION: Anxiety around people with large cameras. (Photo: Robin Schwartz for The New York Times)

Willie the donkey and Sukari, a Masai giraffe. (Photo: Robin Schwartz for The New York Times)

Alex Halberstadt has published this in-depth look at the world of zoos in The New York Times Magazine.

Here is an excerpt and a short video put together by the Times:

“Zoos contact Vint Virga when animals develop difficulties that vets and keepers cannot address, and he is expected to produce tangible, observable results. Often, the animals suffer from afflictions that haven’t been documented in the wild and appear uncomfortably close to our own: He has treated severely depressed snow leopards, brown bears with obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobic zebras. ‘Scientists often say that we don’t know what animals feel because they can’t speak to us and can’t report their inner states,’ Virga told me. ‘But the thing is, they are reporting their inner states. We’re just not listening.’”

You can read the entire article here.