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Whither the Calgary Zoo?

The Calgary Zoo has been getting a lot of bad press lately.

The Calgary Zoo has been getting a lot of bad press lately.


Whether it was the tiger that attacked someone, the dozens of stingrays that went belly up, the gorilla with a knife or the goat who just couldn’t take it anymore, our poor beleaguered zoo simply can’t seem to catch a break — and, unfortunately, neither can its animals.


After what seemed like an endless series of accidents, Calgarians have begun to lose faith in one of our city’s most popular attractions.


Just this week, the Calgary Zoo welcomed a new 400-pound Siberian tiger, Baikal, and ever since then the city’s dog parks have been empty. Surely that can’t be a coincidence now, can it?


In my opinion, the Calgary Zoo is honestly just suffering from a stroke of bad luck. Dead animals or not, it is still a world-class facility. One of the many reasons I love the Calgary Zoo is that it gives you the rare opportunity to see a menagerie of nearly extinct animals — sure, most of these animals aren’t on the official endangered species list — but that just makes your zoo experience more unique.


You also have to respect an institution with such an interesting employment policy. Just like the zoo’s poor capybara, thousands of Calgarians are having doors closed on them. It is no secret that this city has become a difficult place to find a steady job, so it is great to know that practically anyone can get a job at the zoo.


Plus, I imagine the interview process being pretty painless. Common questions probably include: “Do you like animals?,” “Can you identify what an animal looks like?,” or “Do you mind if we blame you later?” I’m assuming as long as you get 66 per cent right, you’re a shoo-in for a great job!


And perhaps, at the end of the day, we can all decide that our zoo doesn’t need (or shouldn’t have) animals.


The Calgary Zoo is currently under review, which is probably a good thing. No matter how well we think things are running things, it never hurts to take a step back and gain some perspective. We should never let our pride affect the treatment of animals, even if they are gross and slimy.


After all, Zoo Lights is always a great, local holiday favourite — as long as you don’t mind the snakes at your feet!



– Mike Morrison writes daily about all things Canadian entertainment on the award-winning Mike’s Bloggity Blog.

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