BOSTON -- The Franklin Park Zoo, the only Boston institution of its kind, may be forced to close and euthanize some of its animals, zoo officials said Friday.
Without more state funding, zoo officials said that they will run out of money within months and have to close both Franklin Park and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham.
The zoos would be forced to lay off most of their 165 employees and attempt to find new homes for more than 1,000 animals.
Zoo officials estimated 20 percent of the animals would not find homes and could be euthanized.
"Not all the animals in the collection will be able to be placed at other facilities," John Linehan, zoo president, wrote in a letter to the Massachusetts Legislature. "The Commonwealth would then be forced to either continue to maintain the animals in the closed facilities or euthanize them."
Zoo New England Statement
The Legislature had originally provided $6.5 million to the zoos, but Gov. Deval Patrick cut the state funding to $2.5 million.
"These are extremely difficult times across the state, and there have been tough cuts in every area," a Patrick spokeswoman, Cyndi Roy, said in a statement. "This is an example of an unfortunate cut that had to be made in order to preserve core services for families struggling during the economic downturn."
The Franklin Park Zoo was founded in 1913. It is funded by state money, private donations and revenue from the attractions.
Carole's letter to all of those asking us to rescue all of these animals:
It is a travesty and we will post it to our blogs and to groups that we belong to, but the sad truth is that we have to turn away almost 100 big cats each year because zoos and private collectors breed them incessantly for the money making babies, with no thought as to the future. The only way to stop such abuse is to end the breeding and keeping of wild animals in cages. You can help us do that by writing letters at CatLaws.com and writing letters to the editors saying that wild animals shouldn't be kept in cages and those who have profited off of them should have to take care of them from cradle to grave.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:
Free ways to join us and help the big cats:
Twitter: Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway! http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue