Friday, December 28, 2007

Tiger attack at SF Zoo latest blow - Yahoo! News:
"The deadly tiger escape at the San Francisco Zoo could prove to be a costly blow to an institution that has come under fire repeatedly in just the past few years over the deaths of two elephants and the mauling of a zookeeper. The zoo could face heavy fines from regulators. It could be stripped of its exhibitor license. Its accreditation could be at risk. It could be hit with a huge lawsuit by the victims or their families. It could even face criminal charges, depending on what the investigation finds.

'All this legal action is likely to impact the financial viability of the zoo,' said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law. 'Whether the zoo can stay open is a big question.'"

I have become somewhat ambivalent about zoos. As a kid, I loved them and spent lots of time at the St. Louis Zoo, one of the better zoos in the world. I have been going to the SF Zoo for about 10 years or so. One of the best locations for a zoo, a stone's throw from the Pacific Ocean, mild climate, foggy on Summer mornings, wonderful fauna and flora. But precious few animals! It had recently begun a major renovation effort and, while beautifully done, it was not so good for animal watchers. More space, less animals. And come on, I like lemurs as much as the next guy but do we really need one more California zoo to house lemurs? At any rate, should this zoo close I would not be surprised. It is very popular with families, no question about it, but if you want to see animals, exotic animals, go somewhere else.

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