Saturday, July 11, 2009

Franklin Park Zoo's Lion Mauls Giraffe; Kea Birds Attack Sheep

The lion at the Franklin Park Zoo was seen Friday morning mauling a giraffe while children were apparently cheering him on. His meal of fresh meat brought smiles to onlookers all around. The remnants of the giraffe can be seen at right.

Later Friday, several Kea birds were also seen pecking away at a sheep laying on its side; one Kea seemed particular fond of gnawing at the sheep's ears.

And to think: onlookers said that the zookeepers themselves moved the giraffe and sheep into the predators' cages. Yes, they did it deliberately.

Amazingly, these feedings occurred on the same day that the zoo announced that, without additional funding, it would have to close in October and would likely have to euthanize at least 20 percent of its animals because they would not be able to find them homes.

Wow.

Despite appearances, the zookeepers are not, however, feeding some of the zoo's animals to each other as part of shutting the zoo down.

The ravaging wildlife and the threatened zoo closure are completely unrelated developments.

The giraffe and sheep were constructed from cardboard and papier mache by children attending Zoo Camp during the last two weeks. Zookeepers put fresh meat into the giraffe for the lion to eat, and vegetables (possibly also meat?) into the sheep for the Kea [left].

The fake animals are introduced into the cages as part of the wildlife's "enrichment" -- a process to provide interest and activity to animals who spend their life in captivity.

Reports are that the Kea took a while to get interested in tearing apart the cardboard sheep, while the lion make short order tearing apart the cardboard giraffe.

The educational opportunities of the zoo camp is one of the many ways in which the Franklin Park Zoo provides a valuable service to the community.

1 comment:

Factor X-11 said...

You had me there for a moment.