Definition of human zoo in US English:

human zoo

noun

  • 1Human society, or a social community, likened to a zoo, especially with regard to its diversity, its confined cohabitation, or to behaviour considered animalistic; (also) humanity characterized as fit for scientific observation, anthropological study, etc.

  • 2A place in which people, especially from minority or non-European communities, are viewed or exhibited as a scientific or popular curiosity (chiefly historical).

Origin

Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Leeds Mercury.