The Zoo has guns.

bear.jpg The Strib featured a recent story that played with the issues of animal escape at the Zoo. It scares the scat out of all who read it. And it makes it seem like Zoomageddon could happen in Minneapolis, although if it did, the man eating weretigers will get blown apart before they shred apart any fourth-grader licking a tootsie pop.

Here’s why:

Caches of weapons are hidden throughout the zoo, with shoot-to-kill orders if a man-eating animal were to turn up on a visitor pathway. Law enforcement agencies have been asked to be prepared to hunt down escaped animals with technology designed for fugitives. And the zoo has rigged its tiger exhibit with an alarm system designed to auto-dial its staff in case a storm topples a tree onto the perimeter fence, allowing a tiger to vault over it.

This is a little disarming. Sure, the zoo can unload (grenades?) at escaped animals, but why don’t they cut down the trees before they get blown over in a windstorm? Just sayin’.

The article goes on to share a fact that fanboys knew long ago and confirmed that their bio-engineering hallucinations were not, in fact, bio-engineering hallucinations:

One theory holds that advances in animal management, with better nutrition and more emphasis on preserving wildness, is yielding a new breed of lions and tigers and bears capable of surpassing barriers that would have been adequate 50 years ago.

Apparently, there is a jaguar at the Milwaukee zoo that is a cat version of Brock Lesnar. Zoo officials aren’t convinced his current pen can hold him. So nothing to worry about... just a super-jaguar walking around his pen, waiting for the moment to spring into a tree, readying himself to pounce down upon an unsuspecting couple distracted by their bowl of Dippin’ dots.

Finally, the article examines the glass sheets in the new Grizzly Coast Exhibit. These clear panes allow patrons to get Timothy Treadwell close to the bears. It has some thinking that the bears might be able to bust through the glass.

But the creators of the glass say the fear is overblown:

To simulate 500 pounds of lion crashing against the glass at 35 mph, as fast as a male lion can run, we set up an experiment shooting padded steel into glass, again and again and again. The interior laminate cracked -- but it was still structurally sound.

Wait a sec… a male grizzly can get up to a thousand pounds and run at 25 mph. Can lion-proof glass double as bear-proof glass? Hope so. All these facts are making us cross-eyed and leery about going to the zoo. That is… until we remember the zoo has guns. Plenty of guns.



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