Mango only pawn in game of life?

[If you’re looking for the quote from Blazing Saddles, the character’s name is “Mongo.”]

A week after what I hoped was a promising conversation with Chicago Zoological Society President Stuart Strahl, in which he said that he would meet with key staff members at the Brookfield Zoo to reevaluate the decision to keep the bird, there’s still no word. I don’t like to think this way, but giving lip service to revisiting the zoo’s decision with no intention of responding would be one way to keep mango advocates from generating additional bad publicity until the controversy had cooled off.

I hope that some of you who have been following this issue and haven’t already written letters on the mango’s behalf will go ahead and do so to:

We may not be able to free the mango, but maybe we can prevent other healthy vagrant birds from being sentenced to permanent captivity by well meaning but misinformed people.


5 thoughts on “Mango only pawn in game of life?

  1. Hi, Mark. Not to me. Strahl didn’t have the courtesy to e-mail or call me back to say “We’re keeping it,” though that’s the response that other people have received.

    This whole situation was handled so poorly from the get-go that there’s lots of blame to go around, but it’s particularly shocking and disgraceful that a respected institution like the Brookfield Zoo would a) violate its own policies and ethical zoo practice to keep the bird, b) opinion-shop for an outside “expert” who would provide justification for doing so (however flimsy), and c) brush off concerned colleagues and members of the public who questioned the decision.

    This is the kind of behavior I would have expected from the incompetent jerks who ran the Fort Worth Zoo when I was a keeper there, though admittedly they wouldn’t have bothered with the formality of an outside opinion. Obviously, zoos haven’t come as far in the last 30 years as I might have hoped.

  2. hi, Sheri, so what’s the latest? will the mango be strong enough upon release? do hummingbird flight muscles atrophy in aviaries? is the mango on public display at the brookfield zoo? if tranferred to Texas, should it be held again in an aviary, and if so where and for how long, to ensure that it is strong enough to survive? would appreciate your thoughts, and good luck! oh, is the bird now banded–if you know? -ken in alabama

  3. emailed the following to Mr. Stahl on Dec. 25, 2007:
    “Hello, i am writing to request that the Brookfield Zoo include on its website the status of the recently captured mango hummingbird now in its collection, since i can find no mention of it there. also, would you please consider allowing transfer of this bird to an appropriate location for release? meanwhile, is the mango now on public display? and, has the mango been banded? thank you very much. -ken archambault, birmingham, alabama” -ken

  4. Pingback: Rods and mango redux « Life, Birds, and Everything

Add your comment or question

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s