Maurizio Savini, Diet Wiegmans, Aurora Robson, James Corbett, Endangered animals, green design, eco design, sustainable design, Philadelphia Zoo, recycled art, Second Nature: Junk Rethunk, Laurence Vallieres, Flux Foundation, Don Kennell, Cracking Art Group,

Second Nature brings together two hot-button issues on the minds of eco-sensitive creatives; recycling waste, and the issue of the endangered species of the world. Through the repurposing of junk as artists’ materials, their stories of endangered animals takes on a poetic tone in a harmonious message of earth conservation. The sculptural works live within the zoo, creating a dialogue between visitors, animals and the art.

Related: Edouard Martinet’s enchanting metal animal sculptures are made from old bike parts

The FLUX Foundation’s Bloom! greets visitors at the zoo entrance. The towering bouquet of flowers and butterflies is made from recycled objects like car parts, kitchen tools, tires, and HVAC duct and artificial turf. The piece lights up with LED lights all day long.

A complete stand-out piece is a nine-foot-tall gorilla by Montreal artist Laurence Vallières, which stands next to the gorilla habitat. Modeled after the zoo’s male gorilla, Mutuba, the giant sculpture is made entirely out of cardboard—a product of the timber industry that threatens gorillas in the wild.

Another gorilla sculpture by Don Kennell sits on one of the zoo’s trails. The massive blue sculpture made from recycled car doors rises 15 feet above visitors. Other large animal sculptures mad by Cracking Art Group populate the trails around the grounds. The colorful rabbits, birds and snails are made from recycled plastic bottles that the group has collected from around the world.

Other pieces include James Corbett’s polar bear cubs made from recycled spark plugs, Diet Wiegman’s recycled junk piles that cast structured shadows, a crocodile made from chewing gum by Maurizio Savini, and Aurora Robson‘s chandelier-like tree root sculpture made from recycled plastic bottles. These, and other sculptures, can be enjoyed through the entire summer with zoo admission.

+ Philadelphia Zoo

Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat. Check out more on our Flickr stream.