NATURE ZOO ORPHANS

As George Orwell knew, some animals are more equal than others. That’s definitely the case with the Adopt-an-Animal program at the Dallas Zoo, where for as little as $15, a person can “adopt” a small animal such as a peacock and help pay its food and veterinary bills, which can be steep. An elephant, for instance, costs $2,000 to adopt.

Of the more than 1,500 animals at the zoo, the most often adopted is the common prairie dog-in the last twelve months fifty-two people have adopted one of these cnt-ters. The second most popular animal is the Red Panda (the closest relative to China’s Giant Panda), which is a lovable fur-ball that inhabits the high bamboo thickets of the Himalayan Mountains.

All together now: awwwww. Yes, they’re cute. But what about the least loved animals at the zoo-the zoo orphans? Since the adoption program began five years ago, nine animals have never been adopted. Granted, the Rhinoceros Iguana isn’t very cuddly (those little scalyhorns on his nose don’t help).But why no takers on the beautiful Sable Antelope of Africa?A “shared adoption” is only $25a year, and, as zoo spokespersonVictoria Furber says, “Whereelse can you get a sable thatcheap?”

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