City Desk

Petting Zoo Fans Plan Civil Disobedience to Save Bunnies, Goats, Pizza

Hey, everyone's got a cause: A group opposing the Smithsonian's plan to close its Kids' Farm petting zoo will stage a pet-in at the soon-to-close facilityon  February 26, from 10am until noon.

"The zoo is taking away a major educational tool for young children," says Jamie Davis Smith, organizer of the pet-in and creator of a facebook group dedicated to saving Kids' Farm. "These attractions help foster a love of animals and an understanding of animal care and farming that is simply not available anywhere else in the area or at any other part of the Smithsonian."

The Smithsonian's plan to close the petting zoo, whose rabbits and goats are located among the elephants and gorillas of the National Zoo, is a part of its 2012 Federal Budget Request. The closure is because of budget cuts, according to a Smithsonian spokesperson. The museum has asked for $861.5 million for FY 2012—an increase of $100 million over its last appropriation of $761 million.

The cuts would also hit the National Zoo's "Pizza Park," a 22-foot diameter rubber-coated pizza that's supposed to teach kids about where ingredients come from. The activists want to preserve that, too.

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  • Rick Mangus

    I am a big animal lover as anyone knows who reads my past comments but shouldn't we be more concern about bigger items like deficits and social services programs for HUMANS!

  • alyne16

    Elephants are the most expensive animals to keep in a zoo – costing about $175,000.00 per elephant annually. Science has shown us that they suffer physically and psychologically living in a display. Zoos can’t come close to the space required for these migratory, far-ranging animals. Our humanity is diminished by causing them to suffer for primarily entertainment. Let’s send the elephants to the 2,700 acre Elephant Sanctuary in TN and keep the petting zoo open.