Friday, July 11, 2008

Chickasaw Bluff Fluff

My very own copy of the Memphis Zoo's member magazine, Exzooberance, arrived in the mail the other day, and I know y'all will enjoy reading President/CEO Dr. Chuck Brady's vision/revision of the Chickasaw Bluffs exhibit. It's a two-page spread, even!

You've gotta love the juxtaposition of a grizzly, a hippo, and a chipmunk at the bottom of page two. Let's see: big creature that might kill you versus big dung-slinging creature that might kill you versus tiny inoffensive creature whose only hope of killing you is by human proxy.

But my favorite part is that Overton Park: In Perspective graphic. Notice how the Zoo's perspective obscures most of the Greensward and cuts off a large swath of forest in the northeast corner of Overton Park.

Art imitating life?

If you'd like to ground truth your own perspective on the Zoo's ongoing expansion into our Old Forest, come hike with CPOP tomorrow (Saturday, July 12) from 10:00-11:30am. We meet at the Lick Creek pedestrian bridge, adjacent to the Rainbow Lake parking lot at the east end of Old Forest Lane.


Bernhard Meck said...

The sudden immediate need for 17 more forest acres for a nature-trail is nothing more than a clumsily concealed land-grab. I don't buy into the PC-lingo of nature-trails-for-inner-city-kids who don't-get-to-see-the-forest. Dare anybody suggest anything else and they will accuse you of being anti-inner-city kids! How about keeping the ticket prices down first! If the zoo wasn't run by an elitist with nebulous motives the zoo would be fixed where it needs it first. Instead we have foolish overspending on big ticket star attractions and aggressive claiming of more park. And a CPOP dialog with Chuck Brady only accelerated the process.
He must have summoned his inner circle and told them: "Get busy, I bought us some time with those hippies! Come up with some BS-attraction so we look good and they have no beef!"
So they decide to package a forest, hire security to contain it, carpenters to build a trail, slap a fancy name on it and you got a 'marketable attraction'. Sound stupid? Not really - EVIAN is nothing more then clean water, packaged and shipped and the name spells NAIVE in reverse!
At least you people are onto Brady and his sleazy smoke and mirror tricks. I agree with most of you that under 'zoo management' with everything that goes with it that Chickasaw Bluff exhibit is nothing more then a joke. But nobody will be laughing coming out of it. It simply is too serene to satisfy the thrill-seeking expectations of most zoo visitors. Ask some of the employees of the zoo what happens when people can't find the tiger, the bear, the whatever it is. 5 to 10 seconds is the attention span, then off it is. The Chickasaw Bluff thing is doomed - but Brady doesn't care. He doesn't want to give up control!
IT IS JUST ANOTHER LAND-GRAB to insure potential future surprises that will DEFINETELY DEGRADE the forest if not bring more clear-cuts... and they'll be ready with some other excuses.

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