As soon as each few years, a difficulty comes alongside that unites our letter writers unanimously in reward or disgust. Unvaccinated cops and firefighters could not do it; now and again a reader might express sympathy (if not help) for resistant first responders. And former President Trump, although overwhelmingly unpopular amongst readers concentrated in closely Democratic Southern California, still has his supporters amongst our letter writers.
However mess with the L.A. Zoo by trying to make it more competitive with Disneyland and Universal Studios, and you may draw common disgust from our readers — and by common I imply unanimous. Not a powerful majority, not all however one or two — as of this writing, all of them.
The Instances’ article on a $650-million plan to take away almost the entire Griffith Park zoo’s remaining native woodlands and set up, amongst different intruders, a fake canyon with rock-climbing partitions and a winery, has impressed readers to make use of descriptions resembling “ludicrous,” “apoplectic” and “hairs sticking straight out of the again of my neck” of their responses.
To the editor: In an period the place the remit of zoos is more and more questioned and debated, the L.A. Zoo’s plan is tone-deaf and retrograde. A zoo’s sole goal needs to be to assist rehabilitate and protect dwindling species and educate the general public.
The proposal for the zoo to change into extra like an amusement park — destroying acres of vegetation and mature native timber which can be residence to many bobcats, mountain lions, hawks and owls within the course of — is flat-out improper.
It is ironic that in its proposed enlargement, the zoo can be inflicting irreparable hurt to the animals that stay on its perimeter.
Emily Loughran, Los Angeles
To the editor: As a house owner within the metropolis of Los Angeles, I have to abide by the legal guidelines defending our native timber just like the stay oak, black walnut and toyon timber. I’m not allowed to take them down except they’re decided useless by a licensed arborist, and rightly so.
What good are environmental legal guidelines defending these native species if the L.A. Zoo, a city-owned facility, is allowed to forged apart these vital protections when it fits their “vacationer enlargement” plans?
Too usually, authorities companies grant to themselves exemptions to the legal guidelines they move, whereas the remainder of us are anticipated to obey.
Wendy Prober, Tarzana
To the editor: I’m incensed all the way down to the hairs sticking straight out of the again of my neck as I examine this outrageous plan. Destroying 23 acres of native woodland and bulldozing timber, which is able to wipe out the houses to a whole neighborhood of hawks and owls, just isn’t defensible and completely insensitive to the setting.
Individuals go to the zoo to see the animals, to not climb a canyon wall or stare upon a winery. Why are we making an attempt to show our zoo right into a vacationer attraction that mimics the actual deal?
The encompassing setting needs to be stored as pure as doable to supply habitat for our native non-captive animals and birds, whereas efforts needs to be ongoing to supply the zoo’s present captive inhabitants with improved enclosures that the majority resemble their native habitats, particularly the elephants.
This proposal jogs my memory of Joni Mitchell’s music lyrics, “They paved paradise, and put up a car parking zone, with a pink lodge, a boutique, and a swinging scorching spot.”
Susan Antonius, Redondo Seaside
To the editor: I’ve been a member of the L.A. Zoo for a number of a long time and am very a lot in favor of its analysis and conservation work and academic applications.
I’m completely apoplectic over the “Disneylandification” proposal, which appears to supply little or no for the animals, and even the botanical points of the grounds, whereas on the similar time destroying extra of the pure environment. They could as effectively go all in and exchange the animals with robots.
I’ve severe doubts that this is able to generate large income from vacationers, and plenty of locals would most likely encounter a prohibitive hiked admission price. I’ll undoubtedly not donate to such a mission, and can vote “no” on any doable bond concern.
Barbara Assadi, Los Angeles
To the editor: I discover it ludicrous that the zoo director Denise Verret has the 2028 Olympics “in thoughts” with the proposed zoo enlargement.
The world will come to L.A. for barely greater than two weeks in July and August 2028. How a lot cash can the zoo rake in throughout this transient time? Is completely shedding 23 acres of native woodlands price it?
Mary Button, Los Angeles
To the editor: Have you ever ever found a “hidden gem” in Southern California that wasn’t overrun with big crowds and vacationer sights? I think about the Griffith Park zoo a hidden gem.
Constructing a winery, climbing partitions and an aerial tram are usually not options to maintaining with different people-clogged venues. If 89% of the zoo’s guests are residents of L.A. County, why not make enhancements that may profit them?
You needn’t destroy 23 acres of pure habitat to perform some upgrades. Let locals and vacationers alike proceed to marvel at this hidden gem surrounded by a bustling metropolis.
Georgette Rieck, Santa Monica
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.