Zoo program guests exploit, destroy snakes

June 22, 2012 at 1:22 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

As the former director of the Texas Zoo, I was deeply disturbed when I learned of the zoo's plans to host the "Rattlesnake Republic" yahoos. Not only do these folks exploit and destroy snakes for entertainment, many of the methods they use are also illegal. I see this entire event as a truly black day for the Texas Zoo. Ironically, when I learned of this circus, I was out in the mountains of southern New Mexico actually doing real snake conservation. Sadly, this type of garbage ruins the very thing that I, and others are trying to do. It give us, and zoos a terrible handicap for true conservation. Stunts like this are exactly why myself and others abandoned our attempts to turn the Texas Zoo around. Very sad indeed.

Doug Hotle, curator of herpetology at Albuquerque BioPark, former director of the Texas Zoo, Albuquerque, NM



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