Re: “Reject zoo deal that removes public oversight” [Sept. 17, Opinion]:

We pride ourselves in being a progressive city. One way to demonstrate progress is to phase out the Woodland Park Zoo rather than entering into another 20 year binding contract with the zoological society that operates it.

The people in whose interest it is to perpetuate this outdated institution are arguing that they are vital to wildlife conservation. The proper way to help wildlife is to support organizations and communities in the countries where the animals belong, not to drag them around the world and lock them up in the middle of a metropolitan city where they are being “conserved” by artificial insemination and doomed to live in confinement generation after generation.

The high admission prices, with allowance for special programs and days for low-income families, are an affront to social progress, one more way of affirming the divide between the haves and the have nots.

In this time and age, with Zoom and other free visual access to everything that has to do with wild animals, the zoo is an outdated institution that belongs in the history books.

Ruth Kildall, Seattle