Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2019

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Woes continue to mount for the Las Vegas Zoo

Las Vegas Zoo

Leila Navidi

A few weeks ago, OSHA slapped the Las Vegas Zoo with $13,000 in fines. Now, the city has issued a cease and desist order over the zoo’s disposal of animal wastewater into the street.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the embattled Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park. Weeks after being slapped with a $13,000 fine from OSHA over wiring, worker safety and signage, the zoo is now facing a cease and desist order from the city over its disposal of animal wastewater.

According to the city, the decades-old zoo is flushing its wastewater into the street, and if it does not find another solution and stop current procedures, heavy fines will follow.

A few weeks ago, we asked our readership whether Las Vegas is better off with no zoo than the zoo it has now. If your responses are indicative of the public at large, the answer to that question is a resounding YES. Still, the debate seems far from settled. Here’s just a small sampling of what you had to say:

“While I don’t discount the cultural import and impact of the Smith Center, I’m saddened by the tragic lack of support for one of the true hidden treasures of the Valley … Some of the most treasured memories I share with my 5-year-old have taken place at the Las Vegas Zoo—feeding goats, peacocks and ostriches by hand, singing to birds and having them dance in reply, and being engrossed in the Barbary apes (the last family of the animals found in the United States) and rare fossa cats … I urge Las Vegans, especially those who stepped up so admirably to get the Smith Center off the ground, to check their wallets to see if they might have just a few dollars more to rescue, and ultimately improve, our humble zoo.” –Greg Perry

“CLOSE THE ZOO!!!!!!! It is an Abomination!!!!!! We do not need one! Two world Class facilities within 5 Hours!!” –Steven Garnett

“We are better off with NO ZOO if the animals have to continue living in the conditions that they are at the Las Vegas Zoo. My husband would rather take our kids to Plant World to enjoy the birds, bunnies, and so on than to ever step foot in the Las Vegas Zoo.” –Miriamryan Hmidby

“I think it should be shut down unless we can get a whole new sanctuary/preserve built. As much money as we have here you would think someone could get a fundraiser or something going. I think the fact that the owner or manager at the zoo thinks that nothing is wrong and is so defensive is a big part of the problem.” –Heather Noble-Sykes

And apparently many of you were oblivious to the existence of a zoo in Las Vegas in the first place:

“I have been to Vegas on seven separate trips now and nobody has ever mentioned to us the fact there was a zoo! Not one person in seven years.” –Roger Turner

“I never knew Vegas had a zoo. F*ck a zoo, let’s build brothels!!” –Rob Mournier

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