Re: “Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo jettisons COO, conservation exec and animal care director” [June 28, Local News]:

We can hope that this shake-up is the zoo transitioning into a compassionate institution.

While the zoo can’t release its wild animals into the wild (some could go to a sanctuary), it can let them age out and become a non-live institution with some exceptions: the only animals who are bred are to be released into the wild — the gold standard of conservation. Animals who are injured or confiscated and can’t be released would live out their lives at the zoo. No more moving animals around breaking families and bonds.

The zoo would teach children that wild animals are not here for us to dominate and exploit primarily for entertainment. These wild animals retain all their wild instincts. They suffer physically and psychologically confined in cages one monotonous day after another. The zoo can install animatronics, virtual-reality experiences, holograms, computer-generated imagery and more.

We can do this and be a better species for it!

Alyne Fortgang, Seattle, co-founder, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants