"Public concern has been raised in the last eight months, not over the last few years," Evans said. "A lot of it actually has been led by campaigns in the press, and I ask you as a scientific body not to take the local press as necessarily a reliable source, either of public sentiment nor as an authority on animal care."Right, but it's just getting blown up the media. The fact that the National fucking Zoo can't keep its animals alive. Clearly everybody's overreacting to the idea that these animals might have a better chance of survival in the wild than in D.C.
Zoo and Smithsonian officials have said human error caused the deaths of the zebras and the red pandas. The panel will review the circumstances of those deaths as well as those of a Persian onager that died of salmonella after being transported in a contaminated container; three Eld's deer that died after being attacked by dogs at the zoo's conservation center; and a lion that died of complications from anesthesia. Questions also have been raised about the deaths of a bobcat, an elephant, two giraffes and a tree kangaroo. A bald eagle was fatally attacked last month by a fox that got into its enclosure.