killing off 50 of its animals, the Calgary Zoo has decided to bring in a panel of outside experts. Well, it decided to bring in experts because of bad publicity, not because they think they've done anything wrong.
From the article, "The review comes as the zoo also revealed that another capybara died in the summer after being attacked by one of the other giant rodents."
Well, here's the thing. The Calgary Zoo had three capybaras. Now they have one. Two of the capybaras arrived in August from the Buffalo Zoo. The Calgary Zoo defied the odds and managed to kill 2/3 of the capybaras before 2010.
Since 2004, two elephants, one Turkmenian Markhor goat, 41 cow-nosed rays, two capybaras (only one publicized), an unspecified number of gorillas, and at least one hippo have all died. Most since 2008. Since the Zoo neglected to mention the other capybara death, it seems plausible that other animals are dying without the public knowing.
The CEO of the zoo says this, "To continue their support for this institution, our community needs answers — no more accusations, no more allegations, no more irresponsible criticisms, but documented facts that will give them good reason to maintain their confidence in us."
Mr. Lanthier, I think the numbers speak for themselves. Accidents, horrible, awful things happen, but in an institution that bills itself as a world-class leader in animal stewardship...well, the accidents should be kept to a minimum. If 50 deaths in the past two years, many from human error, are the apex of zoo animal stewardship, that makes me cringe.