Thursday, 28 April 2011
Boycott Edinburgh Zoo
Last week a friend telephoned me to tell me what had happened to her 15 year old neighbour's daughter.
Laura Gibson (on the left of the photograph) is suffering from cancer. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in March and is being treated at Edinburgh's Sick Children's Hospital.
Her friends decided a special treat for her over the Easter weekend and one of the mothers spent hours making 'bunny' costumes. Laura's brother decided to go as a chicken - although from the photograph he didn't look too comfortable.
When the group arrived at Edinburgh Zoo to spend their money, they were told that they had to remove their costumes because, "There is very real evidence that humans in costume can cause distress to some of the zoo animals.
"This is particularly the case with our chimpanzees who get very anxious and disturbed.
"When we have our own costumed characters on-site, we ensure they're away from the animal enclosures."
So Edinburgh Zoo have costumed characters milling around yet they were unable to ask the group not to approach the chimpanzees in particular. What is happening in this country? Would these people be allowed admission?
They look in costume to me. I never wear shorts and I'm sure Edinburgh Zoo animals would be utterly psychologically damaged if they had the slightest glimpse of me flouting shorts such as these visitors.
The Zoo management should get their act together and stop their animals dictating what visitors wear. After all they pay good money to keep them in business. I won't be advising anyone to visit the place this year or any future year and I will be suggesting they boycott it until the management show some common sense.
The group of bunnies and their chicken decided to go bowling rather than submit to the Zoo's ridiculous demand. How sensible. Depending on their ages entry prices for children 3 - 15 is £11 and adults £15.50. If all the group were 15 or under then the zoo missed out on entry fees of £66. Bowling would have been a great deal less expensive and much more fun - especially as there was no attempt to infer that others would be mentally damaged by their costumes.
May I wish Laura all the best during and after her treatment.