Como Zoo Rant

Alright, normally, I don't even go to the Como Zoo because every time I've ever gone, I've done nothing but felt bad for the animals. Everyone seemed really sick, really bored, really underfed, or really sad.
It's a free zoo. I get that they don't have the space or fundage the MN Zoo has. But this is every time I went. So I stopped going.
Last year, they put all this money into a new polar bear exhibit(that those poor bears desperately needed) and now they are all "Omg! Come see how awesome this polar bear habitat is! We are awesome!"
So last week, Stacy and I decided to go. Worst. Idea. Ever.
We went on a seriously warm day. It was hot, so I figured a lot of the animals would be hot and not looking their best. I braced myself.
Got to the polar bear place and the polar bears were filthy, matted, and pacing like crazy. They were skinny, hot, and obviously stressed out. They did have access to a swimming area, but they were too stressed and pacing to utilize it. My heart sank.
Then we saw the bison. Just thinking about her brings tears to my eyes. She was lying on the ground licking the open wounds on her legs in a desperate attempt to keep the flies off of them. She was listless. It fucking broke my heart.
Then we saw the ostriches. One of them had NO feathers on it's back. It was so stressed out it was plucking them all off. The zebras were listless. It was just awful. The whole thing made me so so sad.
Stacy and I decided to send them an email. She wrote it up at work and sent it off right away. We were really concerned for all of the animals. But that bison and those ostriches were the worst.
This was the reply she got back:
From: Joanne Kelly []
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 11:50 AM
To: Stacy
Subject: Reply

Hi Stacy,

Thanks for your letter of concern for the bison and ostrich at Como Park Zoo, the animals health and welfare are a top priority for us.
The soars on the bison are created by the flies and then irritated by the fact that she licks them, the other bison does not share this habit and thus has no soars. The mud wallow is provided for them to stand in to get away from the flies and they do utilize it, their stall has a timed mister system that automatically sprays the bison's legs and stomachs with a bug repellent when they are in there.

Ostrich will pick at anything and sometimes one will just stand there while the other pulls on its feathers. When they start to do this we will put vegetable oil on the feathers on their backs and this makes it difficult for them to pluck.

Hope this helps Stacy and thanks again for your concern,


Joanne Kelly
Senior Keeper/ Registrar
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive; Saint Paul, MN 55103
P: 651-487-8208
C: 651-783-6986
F: 651-487-8209

Polar Bear Odyssey Opening June 3, 2010!


First of all, as senior keeper of a zoo I assume you have to have some sort of vet education and other college education. Not being able to properly spell the word 'sore' is pretty concerning.
Second of all, YOU SPRAY INSECT REPELLENT ALL OVER THAT POOR BISON'S OPEN WOUNDS?!!!!??!?! AND that poor girl licks her legs all the time so not only is insect repellent seeping into her body via the wounds, she also INGESTING it! And you see no fucking problem with that? *head explodes*
Third of all, birds, including ostriches, only pluck out their feathers when they are STRESSED OUT! I have NO college education and I know these things. How can she think doing the bare minimum at keeping these animals alive is ok? HOW?!
It just makes me sick. They get tons of donations. They get government subsidies. How can they think having these animals in the shape they are in OUT IN THE OPEN FOR THE WORLD TO SEE is anywhere near ok?!
I left her contact info because I want any one of you who think this is BS to email her and tell her what you think. This is ridiculous and she needs to know that people won't just let it happen.
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    enraged enraged

Margaret, why you so funnah?

Margaret was awesome. I was so happy. Ian Harvey was awesome too. Last night was just great! PLUS! Margaret made a joke with Whole Foods in it! Oh yes.
It went like so...

"Why don't straight men wash their dicks??? WASH THEM!!! If you know straight men, TELL them to WASH their DICKS!!!"
She goes a bit hysterical here in her insistance that gay men are more hygenic. Then she says,
"If I want cheese, I'll go to Whole Foods!"
Win. I laughed. Twas gross, but she'd go to Whole Foods for her cheese needs and that made me happy. :)

*contented sigh*
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    happy happy