It appears that soon the zoos around Boston will be receiving less than adequate state funding.They are being put in the sad position of possibly being forced to lay off approximately 160 employees. They are also facing the all-too real possibility of having to relocate as many as 1,000 zoo animals. Where are Noah and his ark when you need them?
The problem is that zoo officials estimate that as many as 200 of those animals needing new homes may not be able to be relocated. This means that either the government would be forced to maintain the animals within closed zoo facilities, or it would have to euthanize the poor creatures.
This problem was brought on through some unfortunate budget slashing done by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who gouged $4 million out of the previous $6.5 million in that state's zoo funding. Evidently zebras, tarantulas, and lemurs rank pretty low on the Massachusetts budgetary food chain.
Although an article from TheBostonChannel.com about the possible zoo closures does not state it explicitly, it would seem that if alternate funding sources could be arranged, the animals could remain unmolested in their current homes for zoo patrons to continue enjoying. Indications are that there are a few months left yet before the guano hits the fan. Currently, the Massachusetts zoos are funded through state funds, private donations, and ticket sales.
Now, it appears that a major fund drive is in order. Do you think billionaire Warren Buffett would be interested in sponsoring a snake or two?
I think he might be open to that possibility.
Update - July 13, 2009:
Governor Deval Patrick has accused Zoo New England of using scare tactics with it's published claim that zoo staff may be required to euthanize some zoo animals in the wake of possible zoo closures.
Kyle Sullivan, a spokesman for the governor is quoted by Boston.com as stating: "...we would all do well to remain level-headed and focus on solutions.'' According to the report, Sullivan also stated that it is Zoo New England's responsibility to find a way to keep it's operations running.
Massachusetts lawmakers have reportedly indicated that they shall attempt to override their governor's veto of zoo funding.
There has been no formal statement from the zoo animals.
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