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Monday, February 10, 2014

Zoo Story

Everybody's ganging up on the Copenhagen Zoo!  It's not fair, really.  Just because zoo officials butchered an adorable giraffe named Marius and fed him to the lions--I mean, is that any reason to get all indignant?  Be honest: Who hasn't wanted to kill a giraffe?  Or, for that matter, who hasn't watched Les Miserables and wanted to kill someone named Marius?  And it's not like the zoo had much choice: As they explained, Marius, while perfectly healthy, shared too many genetic attributes with his fellow zoo-mates, so the only way for the zoo to prevent potentially harmful inbreeding was to blow the poor fellow's brains out with a bolt gun!  What else could they do?!?

Well, OK, the COULD have given him to one of the other zoos that offered to take him in. . . . Or, I suppose they could have just neutered him. . . . Or just kept him separated from the other giraffes if it came to that. . . . So, yes, they could have done all kinds of things other than kill him.  But where would be the fun in that?

Because, let's face it, people basically go to zoos for the same reason they go to NASCAR races: the potential for bloodshed.  Who hasn't stood at the railing of, say, the polar bear exhibit, just waiting for an unwary seal to wander into the enclosure?  Who hasn't wished to see the Bengal tiger go to town in the lemur habitat?  Not me, that's for sure.

Indeed, I think Copenhagen might be on to something: The notion of a petting zoo is, let's face it, hopelessly passé.  But a killing zoo? I'm thinking there could be a giant roulette wheel at the front entrance, with all the resident animals on it.  Every morning, I spin of the wheel would determine that day's victim--uh, featured performer.  Today an eland, tomorrow a hippo, and the day after that, a giant sloth!  And why should the zookeepers have all the fun?  Visitors could get in on the action for a small extra charge.  How much would you pay to drop a toaster into the dolphin tank?  Or play Whac-a-Mole with actual moles?!?

So kudos to the Copenhagen Zoo for showing us all the future in zoological entrepreneurship!  And on behalf of the psychoanalytic industry, may I also thank the zoo for the uptick in revenue that will no doubt occur from all those children seeking therapy after watching Marius' demise!

1 comment:

  1. The people of Copenhagen have read this, and are properly repentant.
    Never again will so beloved an icon as a giraffe be fed to a lion.
    However, and I am sure in a totally unrelated story, the body of Shirley Temple has gone missing.