Saturday, July 18, 2009

When are the dead not dead?

It is possible that WPEC may suggest that animals are dying at the zoo.

Despite the best effort of the Palm Beach Zoo to provide the animals with eternal life - yes, animals do die at the zoo.

They do not however die from any type of animal neglect.

In April, Palm Beach Zoo demonstrated how much it cares for animals by opening a $5 million state-the-art animal hospital and hired one of the best vets in the nation to run the hospital.

WPEC is relying on information provided by fringe extremist Russ Rector (see earlier post about Rector) and his cohort for its story.

WPEC also is looking at USDA reports that show a decline in number of some animal species from 2008 to 2009.

It was explained to WPEC, in the only interview they allowed the zoo, that animals have died at the zoo because of natural causes, untreatable illness and in one case from injury. There has never been a single death at the zoo from food related illness or neglect.

It was explained to WPEC that the decrease in some animal numbers also is the result of animals that the Palm Beach Zoo loans to other zoos for exhibit.

If WPEC had been willing to reviewing documents with the zoo they also would have learned that USDA reports showing a dramatic drop in the number of one species is - an error that USDA is correcting.

1 comment:

  1. Animal birth and death is part of the cycle of life. This issue is the quality of life while here on earth. For those of us responsible for providing care to animals, the overall welfare is the utmost importance. Here at the Palm Beach Zoo, we take a holistic approach to welfare by ensuring that animal’s having the best physical, social, medical and nutritional care that we can provide. Our animal care staff observes animal’s daily for any health concerns that are addressed immediately by a full-time veterinary staff and state-of-the-art new hospital. The diet provided is not only assessed for the nutritional value but enrichment opportunities in the way that it can be presented to encourage natural behaviors for the species. When deaths occur, they are often associated with “old age” problems such as cancer and degenerative diseases such as arthritis, an indication of the successful management of the individual to a ripe old age that would not typically be achieved in the wild state. Death is not a disease but a natural part of life and as such, all living creatures that are born will die. There is nothing to hide since we provide excellent care that I would be happy to compare to any zoo in the country.
    Michele Miller, DVM, PhD
    Chief Veterinary Officer Palm Beach Zoo