Toledo zoo changes and problems. Staff questions new director...

I was talking to a staff member . I live about a mile from the zoo. New ( and highly paid) director Ann Baker has made many changes to the zoo. Animal exhibits are being downsized. Animals that die are not being replaced- gorilla , many more. Animals are given to other zoos with no animal in exchange - one giraffe, many more.
Members are asking about some of the missing favorites -example, the komodo dragon - It's gone!
The aquarium is very old , its plumbing is springing leaks and decaying. The staff watches it closely for catastrophic leaks . Wasn't the levy supposed to fix this aquarium ?
Nature's neighborhood - very nice , but not an animal exhibit - 2 goats and guinea pig. How much was spent on this - over 8 million dollars ? I tried to look this up.
This staff is puzzled and quietly grumbling.
Anyone have any observations /comments on this ?

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As a Mom of two little ones, I can tell you that we have gone to the zoo more this summer than ever. Just because of the Neighborhood. It is a great place for kids of all ages and always PACKED!

Everytime we go we have to buy something, lunch a toy... something:)

I would think long term with extra revenue it would pay for itself in time. I know they are keeping stats as there is someone using a counter everytime we have gone in.

I will renew my zoo membership just for the the Neighborhood, as will many of the other Mom's I know.

There are more updates that are need, no question but for long term the non animal exibit will give a great ROI.

Just my 2 cents worth.

KSchwartz

Maybe the director Baker, would be better suited to running an amusement park. The care , and diversity of the animal exhibits should be priority #1 I would think.

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

My kids love the new area too and I've never seen the zoo so full as it was a couple of weeks ago when we went. Someone is doing something right...

Here's a Blade article about projects funded from the zoo levy from last year: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080616/NEWS38/80...

The whole thing is going to be gutted and it's going to take until 2016. While the building is beautiful, it was built by the WPA and is missing many features seen in modern aquariums.

The new exhibit is meant as a replacement for the kids zoo that was closed a few years ago. Petting zoos were linked to ecoli outbreaks a few years back so it's not surprising that the new exhibit would cut back on the number of dirty-ass goats.

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

SSP

Cogitate.
many of the endangered species of animals at the zoo are regulated by SSP (Species Survival Plan) regulated by the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) guidelines and protocols. Many of the breeding loans animals are out as results of planning a few years in advance. Many things are taken under consideration such as blood lines, population counts, facility accomedations, etc. You may read more about SSP here:Species Survival PlanĀ® Programs

Replacing an animal which has passed away is not as easy as going to the pet store and picking one up or trekking to the plains of Africa and bringing a wild animal back. Said considerations, cost, and Studbook recommendations all play a decisive factor in these decisions.

The Toledo Zoo has been a leader in the Zoological Industry for maintaining high accreditation and Internationaly renown for their successful breeding of endangered species such as the 3 Polar Bear cubs and Louie the Elephant in recent years.

Accredited Zoo's have evolved from being purely a spectator playground in the early years to the conservation, research and educational facilities they are today. So while the Toledo Zoo may not be one of the largest in the nation it is still one of the best based on these credentials.

As far as a few disgruntled Staff, I have not hear of it since the last go around but as with any industry there are always going to be those disenchanted employees who feel they are not getting a fair shake and the first person to point to is the foreman, director, president, CEO and so forth.

P.S. In the interest of disclosures; I am not a Zoo employee but do know many of the Staff (from seasonal, to keepers to administrative) and have a very thorough understanding of MO's in the Zoological field.

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

Can't stand kids. They ought to have days for adults only.

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