Monday, December 08, 2008

Zoo blues

Here in Tampa, long the minor league feeder system for the Jerry Springer Show (I'm not sure that show is even still on the air, but I'll bet many of our teachers are still willing to have sex with their students, just in case), we have proven once again that our ability to demonstrate misbehavior has no discernible limit.
Need proof? How about the fact that our zoo is currently embroiled in controversy. That's right, the zoo. A place you probably associate with childhood memories of school field trips, adorable, exotic animals and cotton candy, where you might think the most outrageous thing you could possibly encounter is monkeys doin' it, is knee-deep in a sizable scandal.
Lowry Park Zoo president Lex Salisbury, apparently under the belief that the zoo is a kind of Netflix with critters, authorized over 200 transactions (sales, trades and loans) of animals between the zoo and his private animal park in Lakeland, Safari Wild. The problem is, as a taxpayer-supported facility, those animals are assets that belong to the City of Tampa. How would you like to be the city worker who has to do yearly inventory? "Can you, uh, make the Red-legged Honeycreepers sit still or something? It's hard to count." Salisbury and collections director Larry Killmar have had their memberships in The Association of Zoos and Aquariums temporarily revoked for "intentionally failing to abide" by the association's policies when they acquired and transferred animals.
The bad news for the zoo itself, including all the dedicated employees who weren't treating real, live tigers like baseball cards of Detroit Tigers, is that the organization has also suspended Lowry Park's membership, pending a series of procedural reviews and audits.
The good news is that none of this should affect the day-to-day operation of the zoo itself, including animal care or park operations.
It's just unfortunate..and unnecessary...when the poor judgment of individuals puts the reputation of an otherwise well-respected organization at risk. Especially something like the zoo. We're sort of resigned to the fact that our elected officials, corporate honchos, bankers and sports owners are going to act like Veruca Salt leading an armed raid on Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Is it too much to ask that the selfish d-bags keep their grubby little 'beaters off of things like the friggin' zoo?


Gadzooks64 said...

Did you know that letters in "Lex Salisbury" can be rearranged to be "Sex Lalisbury"?


Why, it's Clark! said...

Ah, the forbidden berry...err, bury.