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The Cost of Bringing Pandas to L.A. Would Be Unbearable

November 22, 2002

Re "Hahn Hopes to Bag a Pair of Pandas on Far East Trip," Nov. 19: Should the Chinese government, heaven forbid, agree to have giant pandas at the Los Angeles Zoo, I hope the exhibit never comes to fruition. I am a frequent visitor to the Los Angeles Zoo and am often embarrassed by and ashamed of the behavior of some of the people around me.

Visitors to this zoo holler and throw foreign objects at the animals and tease them. I have viewed the three pandas in the San Diego Zoo several times and know that visitors to this exhibit must be quiet and conduct themselves as observers when walking through to see them.

I truly do not think that everyone going to the L.A. Zoo is capable of doing this, especially around animals that require a serene environment. Mayor James Hahn may be trying to arrange for a money-making attraction at his zoo, but he will be doing it at the cost of the pandas' mental and emotional well-being. There are not enough pandas in the world anymore, so we cannot afford to have even two suffer at the L.A. Zoo.

Connie Hall

Whittier

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It seems to me that Hahn is like a kid in a toy store: Mommy, I want the panda! When hospitals and emergency rooms are being closed and children commute halfway across the city [to school] because of lack of money, how can the mayor think he (or rather the city of L.A.) has the money for a panda? Not to mention the time and money he and his staff will have to spend schmoozing the Chinese government -- with no guarantees of success!

I'm mad at the mayor's naivete and (proposed) callous spending of taxpayers' money. Let's hope he doesn't see anything else that he wants to spend tax money on.

Sarah Coventry

Malibu

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So the mayor wants to bring a couple of animals to Los Angeles from China with millions of taxpayers' dollars. Seems to me that we already have too many animals in L.A. -- the kind that go around shooting people. Wouldn't all that money be put to better use in stopping all the violence in L.A.?

Don Wagner

Santa Monica

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