In response to the letter “In tragedy's wake I” (Dec. 8 and TribLIVE.com) by Samantha Routh, who thinks the African painted dogs should be moved from the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium to another one: Don't be ridiculous.
In the first place, lions and tigers and bears, oh my — and other wild carnivores, too — are displayed at our zoo. They view us as prey, as nature intends. We view them as dangerous, which is why they are kept in barricaded areas. Viewers are expected to understand that basic concept and not place themselves or others in danger by violating these barriers intended to separate and protect both species.
Shall we move all carnivores to another zoo? That doesn't even make sense. If they were too dangerous for our zoo, why would another zoo want them? How could we justify passing them on?
I once saw a group of kids, with supervising (?) adults present, throwing stones at the bears. I hunted for a zoo employee to report this and found one long after the party had moved on. Perhaps there should be emergency telephones throughout the zoo. I don't know if that would have been helpful in this case, but it would have helped the bears.
If Ms. Routh put her children on the wall, she is lucky this didn't happen to her, and I can't imagine why she would think others have done the same.
So I caution all: Zoos have dangerous animals. Stay well behind barriers. If you don't understand this, stay home.
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