I put "I am in the zoo." to see if it would work and it was accepted, but in English that could also mean that I was caged like the animals.
I had the same thought, to me "in the zoo" could imply caged like the animals...I would personally say "at the zoo"
It doesn't have to mean that, but there is often a lot of wordplay on that. You would not necessarily want to walk into that word trap, especially around kids. There are too many jokes about it. It is similar if you are visiting an inmate at a prison and someone calls you and asks where you are and you say "I am in prison now." Actually, that would be worse. You would want to add more words to clarify. I merely want to point out the possible nuance to those who are not as familiar with English.
It might not generally, but it is extremely likely cause confusion.
I translated to in the zoo, because that's what I know. But really I have no way of being able to tell in Dutch if a person literally means they are in the zoo (in a cage), or just visiting the zoo.
I think perhaps a more natural way to say this in Dutch would be
Ik bezoek de dierentuin.
Toch? Of is bezoeken alleen voor mensen?
I am fairly new to Dutch, but I think that "I am (caged) in the zoo," would be more strongly suggested by "Ik zit in de dierentuin."
"De tuin" = "the garden"
So "Dierentuin" is literally "animal garden," but I think "animal park" captures the meaning better.
Does 'tuin' mean garden more by the UK definition, or by the US definition? Or perhaps both? I know Brits commonly refer to the grass in front of their houses as gardens, but in the US gardens either have flowers or vegetables planted in them.
It's more like the AmE word yard. Like, the achtertuin is the backyard, the speeltuin is the playground.
Also similar to the Chinese. I forget the words, but the characters are basically ((moving) (object)) (garden). Where putting "moving" in front of "object" makes it "animal" (as in, an object which moves itself).