Saturday, February 2, 2008

I'm Right About the Zoo

An article in today's Chronicle kicks off with this sentence:
The San Francisco Zoo is a sad and outdated place, with exhibits reminiscent of what might be found in the Third World or Eastern Europe.

Wow, has somebody been reading The Party Blog? What's different is that their article doesn't just have random impressions fostered by a longstanding hatred of eucalyptus trees (ahem); instead, they have actual experts from around the world checking into what's up over at the zoo, and the picture they paint is pretty horrific:
"There is a lack of animal-mindedness at the zoo," said Peter Stroud, former senior curator at the Melbourne Zoo and former director of the Werribee Open Range Zoo, both in Australia. Stroud, who has 27 years of experience in the zoo industry, said he spent four or five hours at the San Francisco Zoo on Thursday and concluded that it would never be accredited by the latest standards being applied in his country. ...

He said that the concrete chimpanzee grotto was "Third World," that the three polar bears exhibited the "stereotypical behavior" of bored and captive creatures, and that the relatively new African Savanna exhibit, which opened in 2004, did not provide enough shelter for the animals and prompted some to engage in aberrant behavior. The giraffes, for example, excessively lick and chew at their barn.

The zombie SF zookeepers toed the official line while, I assume, whipping baby seals:
"They could not be more wrong," said San Francisco Zoo spokeswoman Lora LaMarca. "Our animal keepers are so dedicated to the care and keeping of the animals. I cannot give what they say a whole lot of credibility."

Right, the senior curator at the Melbourne zoo has zero credibility. Good zombies! Now get back to whipping those marmosets!!

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