The end of free zoo day in Buffalo, NY
May 29, 2002 2:43 PM   Subscribe

The end of free zoo day in Buffalo, NY Darn! Sometime a group of folks can really ruin it for the rest of us. But this was out of hand!
posted by punkrockrat (38 comments total)
(All of) the police and CPS in Buffalo have better things to do than to arrest someone dangling their child over a lion's cage? For the love of God. (Of course, here in Seattle the police will let you kill if the crowd gets big enough, so I guess I can't talk.)
posted by Wood at 2:52 PM on May 29, 2002

Visitors pulled down branches on which the birds were perched and then let go, catapulting the birds into the air

posted by remlapm at 2:58 PM on May 29, 2002

This is horrible! Not only for the civic disruption caused, but the heinous abuse inflicted on the zoo animals (all of who were definitely much better behaved than the 'humans' responsible). Many animals are very susceptible to stress, so I can imagine what this disgraceful behavior did to them. Where were the police? Were these hooligans arrested or charged with anything? It doesn't make any sense.

Makes the old "who is really on display at the zoo, the animals or the people" seem easy to figure out.
posted by evanizer at 3:00 PM on May 29, 2002

Jeebas, do people have to act like mooks everywhere? It's bad enough you can't go to a ball game without drunks yelling obscenities at the pitcher and women flashing their chests* at the crowd, but now the zoo is turning into a freaking biker bar at happy hour?! Can't we have some areas preserved for innocence and sweetness, dammit?

*I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with the abovementioned activities. Just that there's a time and place for everything, you know....
posted by jonmc at 3:04 PM on May 29, 2002

why don't they just stay in the ghetto where they belong, and are happy.
posted by billybob at 3:10 PM on May 29, 2002

while i'm not proud of wishing mutilation on anyone... i'll happily imagine the catch on one of the big cat's cages coming loose.
posted by selton at 3:12 PM on May 29, 2002

That's just bad bad bad. The amount of insolence in children these days absolutely makes me sick sick sick.

A new friend of mine from LA and I went out last night. She relayed horror story after horror story of what it was like to be a teacher in LA public schools. Maybe with that still fresh in my mind is why this story just makes my hair curl.
posted by crasspastor at 3:18 PM on May 29, 2002

Well tell us the story, don't keep it from us crass.
posted by geoff. at 3:33 PM on May 29, 2002

mmmmMalt liquor at the zoo. Ain't nothin' better.
posted by shagoth at 3:40 PM on May 29, 2002


We are going downhill so fast...
posted by DakotaPaul at 3:49 PM on May 29, 2002

Another reason not to live in Buffalo, among the usual ones. Sorry if I have trampled on someone's sensibilities but....hey, it is nearly time for the winter snows to come back, which is more than you can say for the economy.
posted by Postroad at 3:50 PM on May 29, 2002


You've seen Blackboard Jungle? Imagine at least ten percent worse.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:56 PM on May 29, 2002

I saw High School High, does that count?
posted by geoff. at 4:11 PM on May 29, 2002

From the article: "Parents dangling small children over the railings outside the bear and lion and tiger exhibits, despite clearly posted danger warnings."

Timmy: "Daddy I can't see! Hang me over the ledge!"
Lion, Tiger, or Bear:"Chomp! Yum."

Oh my.
posted by gummi at 4:16 PM on May 29, 2002

Kids these days? Generalization about people from Buffalo?

Lets not be so hasty here, this is not commonplace. If it was it wouldn't be in the paper. If your worldview is shattered by some hooligans in a zoo, then it wasn't based much on reality to begin with.
posted by skallas at 4:24 PM on May 29, 2002

You're not trying to break up a good game of "Ain't It Awful," are you skallas?
posted by timeistight at 4:28 PM on May 29, 2002

The end of free day? But the article says,"There are no plans to eliminate 10 other free days the zoo offers annually, she said."

How's that "The end of free zoo day," again?
posted by majick at 4:30 PM on May 29, 2002

why don't they just stay in the ghetto where they belong, and are happy

The amount of insolence in children these days

We are going downhill so fast...

Another reason not to live in Buffalo

Ha, skallas beat me too it....but being as though I'm still a kid, I take particular offense to people generalizing my generation.
posted by banished at 4:36 PM on May 29, 2002

posted by tsarfan at 4:43 PM on May 29, 2002

no worries banished - gen X was generalized too as lazy, ignorant and without purpose until we started making more money than the baby boomers and me'ers every could... then we were irresponsible and consumerist until we gave more money to charities and did more for the environment than any other generation...

while it is true that etiquette is NOT on the forefront (nor it seems is teaching respect) this is not a purly generational problem. hey if gen Y is so bad (have no clue what the generation after Y is called if it is named yet) then we have to look at the boomers and me'ers who spawned them and brought them up this way.

Regarding the ghetto comment - how freaking rude and crass. Lack of respect and manners is NOT a ghetto thing... people from the ritzy section do not appreciate what they have either, trust me...

sure I am not crazy about the current trend of negativity, lack of respect and problems in our schools and public areas but the problem is widespread... hence why teenagers at this zoo were only PART of the problem. if they lose their corporate sponsored free days - good. We need more happenstances in this world where people are forced to pay for their actions. This is just simple cause and effect and I am sure the members of the Zoo are thankful action is being taken. I know if something like that happened at the Cleveland Zoo, as a member I would demand that free days be diminished as well...
posted by gloege at 4:48 PM on May 29, 2002

Someone pinch me. A few yahoos on Metafilter had previously assured us that it was ok to do anything ya please with animals. I mean, they're other species and quite possibly tasty, ferchrissakes.

So WTF's with all this outrage, eh?

~ponderous wink~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:57 PM on May 29, 2002

I was counting the seconds until you showed up, my darling, bitter friend!

Now someone check the pandaburgers... I don't want them overdone!

~ponderous wink~
posted by evanizer at 5:06 PM on May 29, 2002

Doing some lateral thinking (with experience in non-profit events), there are two items to bring up which haven't been addressed. Was security adequate for the number of visitors? I assume 17,000 was a very high daily attendance figure. How many staff and security are normally on hand per (visitor) capita? Was it the free ticket, or the mob mentality taking over?

Second, if security and other staffing cannot be increased, probably the zoo should consider limiting the park to a certain capacity. From indications there is a normal process of metering. Maybe an upgraded turnstile system could keep track of the approximate population inside the park and gatekeepers could block free admissions when that point is reached.

In the end, though, we come back to the sponsorship issue. The park didn't do a good job estimating its staffing needs, and by extension the cost of sponsorship. If the drugstore chain were paying something closer to those actual costs, it might not take the sponsorship.
posted by dhartung at 5:34 PM on May 29, 2002

Shoot. Esprit d'escalier...

The sponsor could be required to have chaperones on hand, perhaps labeled innocuously as 'company liaison' or whatnot. And the free admissions could be PG-13, i.e. only good when an adult accompanies the group. (K adults per J minors.)
posted by dhartung at 5:37 PM on May 29, 2002

mmmm... panda burgers...
posted by lotsofno at 5:53 PM on May 29, 2002

I hate teenagers. I thought I'd always be an advocate for teenage angst and that I'd never let "growing up" get in the way of the "rage" and "contempt" I held for adult society and the "machine" we all lived in. But now as I live my more responsible 20-something life, use "quotes" way too often, and drink far less than I used to, I just can't find anything to sympathize with anymore as far as teenagers go. Perhaps it's because I work retail in a mall in a relatively affluent area, and thus my days are filled with staggeringly idiotic groups of priveledged teens meandering about in groups of 3-8 abercrombie clones, yelling and laughing and disrespecting and revealing their lack of brains without any apparent shame.

When I was a teenager, I clowned around, goofed off, got into trouble, and did my fair share of disrespecting adults. But it always seemed like it never went over a line. It was never retarded, like some of the activity I read about in this article. Even a rebelious teen such as myself would've found trashing a zoo to be just downright infantile. I was more concerned with upsetting my teachers and my parents with outragous hairstyles and outbursts in school than I was flinging tropical birds.

At least tell me there were some airheady-enviroconscious teen chickies rampaging through with like, their cause and stuff, to help, like, the animals from, you know, like, the oppression of man, and stuff, you know what I'm sayin?
posted by dopamine at 7:06 PM on May 29, 2002

From the article: "Free days in general bring people who don't always appreciate what they're given. Maybe if they had to pay a small charge, they'd be more thankful for the chance to see the zoo,"

Don't you just doubt this? I can't imagine teenagers thinking - "Oh...I just paid 3.00 to get in here - I refuse to engage in any infantile behavior".
posted by iconomy at 7:33 PM on May 29, 2002

Oh My GOD! This is an outrage! Ignorant teenagers... *curses his kind* I live in Buffalo and this is far beyond any foul language I may be able to conjure up.

Just another incident which proves my little rant... on my website.

(Sorry for the self link... pwease don't fwame me. I think it's relevant... :-D)
posted by spidre at 8:00 PM on May 29, 2002

iconomy: No. You have the logic backwards. You have some people who are willing to pay $3 to get into the zoo, and some who are not. The person quoted in the article is saying that the ones willing to pay are also those who are least likely to be vandals. The ones who are most likely to enjoy destroying things and tormenting animals are those who would never pay the $3 (or even $1, or whatever) to get into the zoo to begin with.

I think the concept that 'things we don't pay for, we don't respect' has some merit. Although... I happened to be in Chicago a few months ago, stopped by the Art Institute, which I had never been to before, and discovered that they were having a free day (Sunday, maybe?). Had a great time, and everyone was perfectly well behaved, except for the unfortunate frisbee incident with the 2nd century B.C. Chinese porcelain.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:08 PM on May 29, 2002

I think the concept that 'things we don't pay for, we don't respect' has some merit

It has more than merit. It has scientific validity. The cognitive dissonance literature of experimental psychology is filled with a million variations on this theme...

The more we pay for things the more we 'have' to believe their worth in order to resolve the potential discrepancy between what we pay and what we think.

The strangest aspect of dissonance is that if you can get someone to do you a favour they will like you more. Can anybody loan me $3? I want to go to the zoo.
posted by srboisvert at 8:18 PM on May 29, 2002

Point noted, Slithy_Tove. I concentrated on the second sentence instead of the whole comment.

spidre - I promise not to fwame you, but only if you never use the word fwame again ;)
posted by iconomy at 8:31 PM on May 29, 2002

(noted) *sniffles* Thank you. Thank you for your wise decision in this difficult and trying situation, iconomy. :-P
posted by spidre at 8:45 PM on May 29, 2002

"Was security adequate for the number of visitors?"

I think it's abjectly humiliating that humans need security guards in order to behave well in a zoo.

But, then, I also feel the same about the need to lock one's door to prevent burglary. Sigh.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:21 PM on May 29, 2002

The National Zoo here in Washington DC, like all the rest of the Smithsonians, is free, free, free, so come on over and make your tax dollars worth something. I haven't noticed any people misbehaving there yet. (Panda bears, yeah, but not people...)
posted by brownpau at 9:54 PM on May 29, 2002

The only time I ever visited the Buffalo Zoo, the gorilla was lying in the bottom of his cage with his back to us, apparently dying of cancer. He rolled to face us, puked, and rolled back over again.

I love animals but zoos depress me.
posted by pracowity at 3:43 AM on May 30, 2002

Kids these days.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:32 AM on May 30, 2002

Hey Spidre -

I won't fwame you for the self-link, but that is one very un-user-friendly site.
posted by Irontom at 11:08 AM on May 30, 2002

jonmc: beer and yelling at umpires is the national pasttime (and one I enjoy).
does this remind anyone of the simpsons?
posted by goneill at 1:08 PM on May 30, 2002

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