Should have kept hands off petting zoo

Urban Compass by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Vancouver

Whose idea was it anyway? What kind of person thinks it’s a good idea to shut down a kids’ petting zoo?

I don’t suppose it matters, now that the Stanley Park Children’s Farmyard has been shuttered, and all of its 122 piglets, bunnies, lambs, chicks and llamas have been dispersed to the barnyard equivalent of homeless shelters, but who would do such a thing?

Sorry kid, we’ve run up a $250,000 deficit. We have to shut it down.

Right. Here in a city where no one blinks at a $458-million roof for a stadium, where the mayor’s fancy-schmansy dedicated bike lanes cost $25 million.

Speaking of $250,000, that’s what it cost to prop up a dead tree further along Stanley Park Drive. Now we have the Zombie Hollow Tree that looks like kindling from hell and no bunnies for the kids.

Somehow we managed to save the Bloedel Conservatory from these blockheads, but we weren’t fast enough to keep the kids’ petting zoo alive. I mean, why preserve a place that fosters infant delight and kindness to animals when you can spend that money on slot machines for the new casino that will engulf the Plaza of Nations, that other vestige of old-fashioned thinking about racial harmony and global co-operation?

I’m starting to wonder if the park board should be called the anti-park board. When it’s not trying to shut down the conservatory or the kids’ petting zoo, it is solemnly slashing the budget for flowers. Who needs flowers anyway?

Of course, it may be that the little politicians are just being bullied by the big politicians. Gregor Robertson looks around for a little spare cash and steals the park board’s lunch money so he can build another concrete barricade right in the middle of a busy street, just to see what happens.

Still, someone is responsible. Someone said: “Let’s shut down the kids’ petting zoo.” It was bad enough that everyone else went along with it. Obviously, not all the sheep are in the barn. But I feel sorry for the person who started it. Has that person never been a kid? Never cuddled a bunny?

That person needs to get a life. In fact, that person should visit all the daycares in town and explain to the little kids why it was such a good idea to shut down the petting zoo.

It won’t save the petting zoo, but it might save a couple of flowers in time for spring.

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