Count her in as zoo volunteer

Somebody fed chili peppers to monkeys at the Clovis zoo over the weekend, causing the animals to suffer irritation when they rubbed their eyes.

Clovis’ Sally Lowry responded with this e-mail:

“I’ll bet many people would be happy to take turns observing at the zoo, to be sure no cruelty to the animals occurs again.

“If they decide to ask for volunteers, count me in.”

Lisa Wathne of Norfolk, Va., who identified herself as a “captive exotic animals specialist” and representative of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, responded with this e-mail:

“By their very nature, zoos leave animals vulnerable to a variety of dangers from which they have no defense or opportunity to escape.

“Animals in zoos have been poisoned, left to starve, deprived of veterinary care, and burned alive in fires. Many have died after eating coins, plastic bags, and other items thrown into their cages. …

“Animals in zoos are far from home, and far from safe.”