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Posted by love2 on April 14, 2000 at 11:28:52:
On April 7th, your National Zoological Park (NZP) in Washington DC signed a 10 million dollar contract with China for the LOAN of 2 Panda's. This does not include the money they will spend updating the Panda enclosures at the Zoo. I have no problem with this as I too love Pandas, except that they have a VERY successful breeding and conservation program at NZP which seems all but ignored.
Over the last 12 years NZP has pioneered the way in Komodo dragon husbandry, breeding, and conservation, and yet these animals receive little attention at the zoo compared to Pandas. At other zoos Komodo dragons are usually cornerstones of the collection and they are always popular with the public. By the way MOST of the dragons in this country were produced at the National Zoo! The dragon facilities at NZP are in dire need of updating and expansion. Just last year NZP had to send off their original breeding pair of dragons to other zoos because they could no longer care for these animals and have room for their growing offspring. NZP has a Komodo dragon web site and a live Komodo web cam for education, but the web cam is hardly ever working. The Komodos are thriving at the zoo, yet they are placed in little regard next to the Pandas, which the Zoo has had no success in breeding in the past. And now they want to spend more of your money on Pandas, which they don't even have at the moment, while the Komodo dragons they have are in need.
Generally speaking reptiles in zoos usually get the short end of the stick compared to all the warm fuzzie critters. This is OUR chance to make a difference for our scaly friends! The staff of the Reptile House have been petitioning for years to have the administration invest more into the Komodo dragon facilities...a zoo success story in their own back yard. But the Reptile folks need our help, as the zoo officials will listen to what the public wants in our National Zoo. This is OUR chance to really make a difference! Herpers...I beg you...please write a letter to zoo officials expressing your opinion that the dragons at NZP need their fair share.
Please submit your letters to :
Dr. Benjamin Beck, Associate Director for Biological Programs
National Zoological Park
3000 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Below is the link, about the contract signing for the Pandas