Animals and money: Bronx Zoo lays off hundreds of 'unpopular' animals


The Bronx Zoo, the largest city zoo in the country, is facing $15 million in budget cuts, and so hundreds of animals are being evicted.

It's a real loss. The 114-year-old zoo, run by the Wildlife Conservation Society, is getting rid of animals based partly on which ones are popular with its 2.1 million annual visitors. That means four exhibits and a whole slew of rare animals are on the chopping block (only figuratively -- don't worry). Unique creatures like the Arabian oryx and blesbok, two types of antelope, must go. In fact, the zoo's whole Rare Animal Range will soon go, as will foxes, deer, and the guanaco, a relation of the llama. More common animals like elephants and giraffes can stay because kids like them.

And thus, by catering to popularity, a zoo gets dumbed down, hampering its educational mandate.