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Fire at Bay Area Six Flags park kills giraffe

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Published: September 5, 2007 at 10:10 AM

A fire at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom this morning killed a giraffe at the Northern California theme park.

An electrical short set hay on fire in the barn after 2 a.m. this morning. Two female giraffes escaped the burning barn, but the male giraffe could not, and was killed, according to a story from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Readers' Opinions

From Bruce Lane on September 5, 2007 at 6:32 PM
Good Lord Above...

I'm both saddened and VERY ticked off about this. Saddened for obvious reasons, and my heart goes out to the handlers involved as well as the other two giraffes.

Ticked off because I KNOW that this would NEVER have been allowed to happen at the original park, with the original management in charge, well before Sick Flags came in and did a 'Borg assimilation' number on the place!

DK's spokesperson was quoted in the Chronicle's article, saying something that had me scratching my head and going 'Huh?' Here's the quote.

"The park and the staff are extremely saddened by this, but we have to put that aside and get out there and go on autopilot," Chan said.

I would love to know exactly what she means by "going on autopilot." Perhaps she was more shaken up than she realized.

In any case... A couple of the comments posted on the Chronicle's site, in response to this article, echo what I've been saying since the takeover began: They need to decide if they want to be an animal park or a thrill-ride park, and NOT try to combine the two!

From Adrienne McDonald on September 5, 2007 at 11:46 PM
Oh, the poor baby!!! That's terrible. Well, I'm they shudda checked more closely about things w/the electrical stuff. I'm sure it cudda been prevented w/a little extra inspection. The only thing we can do besides fume about it is just hope they'll try to inspect things more closely from now on & it doesn't happen again.
From Joseph Boone on September 5, 2007 at 11:58 PM
Looks like some people are ready to get the rope and start the hangings before any real facts are gathered. I don't see how anyone can say that there's no way this would have happened under prior management. Unless the new owners dug up the line or circuit breaker and replaced it with a substandard model, it had to be there for years. It's not at all certain that inspection could have determined the part was faulty. How about we let the fire department and others finish investigating before coming down too hard on anyone. Sometimes, an accident is just an accident. And if it's not, there will be plenty of time for the authorities to throw the book at the responsible parties.
From Mike West on September 6, 2007 at 10:55 AM
I can't blame it completely on the park.
For one I know folks who work there, & know how serious they are about their job. (The teens running attractions are NOT the animal behavioralists, so we cannot lump them all into a "They").
I also wonder about the known decline within 6 flags management, & am unsure about how that ulimately affects the operations, I suspect not for the best.

I also wonder how Busch Gardens has done it for years, but think tht it doesnt have to be an either or Thrills or Animals solution. (I used to think that'd be a terrible environment for animals, but all in all think this park is pleasant for both the humans & the animals. The two seem both well integrated, & seperated.
When it comes to the treatment of animals. I do question their reintroduction of the dolphin petting. They used to have a porpoise petting pool at the Redwood city location, & I always thought they did away with it for concerns for cruelty. Though there is a plethora of Dolphin Quests out there, those programs through cost & education seem a higher caliber that just letting anyone at a mammal which is arguably smarter than us(they use sound & memory to "see") Essentially imprissoned & enslaved in this kind of service, not a dignified existance.

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