After all the rain we have had over the past week, Central Pennsylvania is in a sad state. Schools are closed. The Susquehanna River is cresting. People are being evacuated from homes. Roads are flooded. And basements are taking in water much faster than it can be cleaned up. In nearby Hershey, PA, rt. 322 is buckling, restaurants are disappearing into flood waters and Hershey Park is hardly recognizable. Pictures of Hershey Park are the scariest to me because my family and I just spent the afternoon there last Friday. The rains are still coming. The waters are still rising. The damage is still being done.
The main gate into Hershey Park
It hit the news today that Zoo America owned by Hershey Park, decided to euthanize two bison that were drowning in the flood waters of their enclosure. This is awful. I realize the loss of two bison isn't as harsh as the loss of human life. But it is still tragic. I have read the article and I am frustrated with those who are taking this sad situation and trying to pain Zoo America/Hershey Park as the "bad guy". The spokeswoman said this was a very difficult decision to make. Personally, I can't imagine being responsible for such a choice. A male bison can weigh as much as 2200 pounds! How do you move anything that heavy quickly? Yes, maybe the people in charge could have removed them from their enclosure quicker although I have no idea where they would have put them. But a flash flood is just that, a FLASH and then you have a flood. The fact is, these animals were drowning. They were dying. They were most likely panicking, struggling and they were still going to die. So I think the officials made the right call. A very ugly call, but it was the one that was most compassionate. When you look at the pictures of Hershey and the surrounding area, it is amazing they got the rest of the animals to safety in time.
A view in Hershey Park
A view in Zoo America
I am glad I did not have to make this choice. But for what it's worth, I think the right choice was made. People will judge those who made the choice to shoot those bison, and I'm sure there will be some who will boycott Zoo America over this. To them I say, "Fine, don't give your money to these business' if you choose. " This was a horrible situation at the end of what I imagine was a terrible day. I'm glad that no human life was lost evacuating the animals that could be saved (as far as I know, all but these two bison). I am very sad that the only option left was to euthanize. I support this decision. You may not agree with me and that is okay.
Leave a comment and let me know if you think the zoo officials made the right choice?
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