In Reference to: Today, Orange Monkeys - Tomorrow?
Hi, thank you for your email.
We do not have a petting zoo here, as we are predominantly involved in a number of breeding programs for endangered species, some exotic, and some native.
These include Sumatran Tigers, Sun Bears, Snow Leopards, Tamarin monkeys, Red Pandas, Tamar Wallabies, and Tasmanian Devils.
We do/have also housed a number of animals abandoned by circuses when Australia passed several laws governing the use of animals in performing shows.
In zoos where there are a lot of carnivorous animals, it is always a problem, especially for many of the staff whom are vegetarian, to deal with the food/meat issue.
We avoid commercial enterprises dealing with domestic animal meat, and get most of our meat supplies from local problem or feral animals, or older animals humanely put down.
Jenny’s comments sparked anger, in that as an animal lover myself, and working with people every day who are dedicated to the welfare of animals both here and worldwide,
and promoting fundraising for a number of world animal issues, it’s a very personal attack.
The keepers here would be extremely distressed if any of the animals in their care showed signs of boredom or unhappiness, or became ill. They are as close to many of them as we are to our own pets.
When we were expanding the zoo some years ago, I dealt with some “animal lovers” – who, while standing with a placard outside the zoo gates,
left their own pet dogs locked in their cars in the middle of summer for hours!
I am wary when people become very “one eyed” about some issues and make sweeping generalized statements.
Many have no real first hand experience, have not done their homework, and are merely making an ill informed judgment without having all the facts in front of them.
Thank you again for your correspondence and I wish you well with your website and your future endeavors to promote awareness against animal cruelty.
National Zoo & Aquarium