Why Not a Fire Department Zoo?
Six months ago the children of Clovis, N. M., were forced to go to the mountains, the circus or to other cities in order to get a glimpse of many wild animals. Today, Clovis boasts the finest and largest zoo in a city of its size in the United States.
R. V. Miller, who is city manager and fire chief, is responsible for the Clovis zoo. He conceived the idea that it would be mighty fine for the children of Clovis to have some place to go where they could study wild animals and birds, and where they could obtain real amusement. Mr. Miller’s dream has come true. Clovis now has a modern zoo and the greatest wonder of all is that it has cost the city less than $250 to date. However, in the future, the city will be forced to bear the expense of a keeper for the zoo has grown until one is necessary.
In less than six months, through donations from business firms and individuals, the zoo has a pen of ravens, porcupines, prairie dogs, guinea pigs, coyotes, alligators, peafowls, monkeys, golden eagles, squirrels, blue quail, wild ducks and geese, wildcats, Nubian goats, Black African sheep, rabbits, and many other small animals.
The city and county of Denver, Colo., recently presented the zoo with two large black bear and arrangements have been made to add deer, elk and mountain lions to the collection.
On an ordinary week day, recently, a census was kept and in seven hours more than 600 people—mostly children —went through the zoo.
All the animals are becoming tam_____ and it is nothing unusual for children to spend two or three hours in front of a cage or pen.
Through donations from lumber yards and building material firms and union labor organizations, the city has a fine set of pens and cages for the animals.
“Any other city can do what we have done,” said Mr. Miller. “You would be surprised to learn of the many people who have offered to make donations to the zoo. In fact, it is growing so fast that we are now hard-put to take care of all of the animals offered.”
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