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Private Condors

February 07, 1988

The San Diego Zoo is seeking passage of a state bill to provide $1.5 million for their highly controversial condor program.

I suggest that before being asked to foot this bill, the taxpayers should be queried as to whether they approve of the program. It has been the plan of private interests, predominantly the San Diego Zoo, to bring the last condor survivors out of the sky and into cages--a plan which has provided the zoo with a lot of positive (?) PR, and a hot piece of currency in terms of increased gate admissions, prestige, and in terms of highly lucrative potential trade in the exotic species marketplace.

In addition to privately making decisions regarding the fate of birds belonging to the public heritage, private interests now ask the public to pay for their program, a program from which they stand to substantially profit. We didn't ask for it, so don't expect us to pay for it. Real concern for wildlife begins and remains with habitat conservation and strong legislation and funding to protect all species, before any reach the extinct classification.

TERRILL DOWNEY

Vista

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