In a single visit to the Chaffee Zoo, one sees tiger cubs pouncing, young orangutans swinging, the Siamangs hooting love songs. The great horned owls swoop overhead, sea lions come nose to nose and the giraffe tongue stretches for its leafy treat. Peeking through the open fence, one sees work on the new African Safari. Lions, cheetahs, rhinos, a herd of African elephants, and meerkats are coming to Fresno.
In 2013, visitors came from all 50 states and 15 countries and in April, 100,000 crossed the gates. The zoo is a major employer from zookeepers to party planners. Fresno firms have priority in the issuance of contracts for building the African safari.
Measure Z 2014 expansion envisions the return of hippos, crocodiles, penguins, gorillas and more. All of this for less than 2 Starbucks lattes.
Right now, a handful of objectors are trying to deny citizens the right to vote on the future of the Chaffee Zoo. Quite simply, it should be our choice to decide what we want for our San Joaquin Valley and our children's children. It should be our choice whether or not to spend one-tenth of one penny to be proud of our city.