Zoo’s Double Standard On Death Continues
“Oregon Zoo otter known for slam dunking and self-pleasuring,” headlined The Oregonian, “dies at age 20.”
But, as visitors to the zoo might remember, Eddie had other interesting skills. He could sometimes be observed creatively pleasuring himself, proving the animal kingdom is full of unique learning experiences. While the zoo has other otters, an Oregon Zoo spokesperson confirmed Thursday, “yes, that was Eddie who displayed so much ‘confidence’ in front of zoo guests.”
This spring I complained about the Oregon Zoo (which I love, and visit weekly for my mental health) only ever acknowledging the deaths of its marquee animals, leaving people who love the other animals at the zoo in the lurch and out of luck. Coincidentally, my trip this week turned out mostly to be about discovering that both Eddie the sea otter and Bahari the goat were gone.
Eddie’s passing, of course, was all over social media, news reports, and the zoo’s own press release. Bahari’s passing (which I knew might be coming thanks to a conversation I had a couple weeks ago) I learned of only because I noticed that his photo had been removed from the wall inside the barn.
I don’t begrudge Eddie, or any other of the zoo’s marquee animals, the level of attention afforded their deaths. It’s just sad that other animals don’t even get a note on the zoo’s website, or a notice at their habitat.
Eddie’s death even made Limericking, which of course meant I had to respond in kind, for Bahari.
Bahari the goat is gone, too;
A lesser-known beast at our zoo.
A Nigerian dwarf goat,
with a short, shaggy goat coat,
remember him also, please do.