In case you missed the official posting last week, the Invertebrates Exhibit at the National Zoo in Washington DC was closed this past Sunday due to budget problems. The exhibit, which first opened in 1987, needed for $5 million in facility upgrades and $1 million annually to run the exhibit in order to say open.
Despite the fact that 99% of all species are inverts and our emphatic interest in them, zoo officials indicated their fundraising priorities lie elsewhere in feathery areas like upgrading the zoo’s bird house.
When asked about the decision, zoo officials told the Associated Press “is not included in the zoo’s five-year strategic plan or its 20-year master plan. Plans call for a future Hall of Biodiversity, including invertebrates.”
The sudden announcement and quick shutdown is perplexing and puzzling. This reaction has been less than favorable with a petition posted to Change.org and uproar on the zoo’s Facebook page. Although we’d love to see the exhibit continue, the quick shutdown pretty much slams the door on this situation changing.
What will happen to all the critters in the exhibit? The zoo most likely will make arrangements for other zoo’s, research facilities and public aquariums to house the out of work inverts.