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Boosters of Buffalo should be embarrassed when the leader of a respected zoo in Toledo says that he hasn't seen a zoo like ours in the last 10 to 15 years.

The question is, are we embarrassed enough to really address the problem or, as in so many other cases, will we let it fester until a disaster occurs?

For decades, the Parkside community has fought the Buffalo Zoo at every turn. Now all of a sudden, however, fear of what might replace the zoo is generating a new "we love you" attitude that is best described as too little, too late.

The staff of the zoo has done its best, but the zoo needs more room and better facilities than can be provided at the present site. And meaningful expansion into the sacrosanct Delaware Park is politically impossible.

Sure, $160 million is a lot of money -- after all, we're not talking about an eight-games-a-year sport venue. So, if a larger and better zoo is too big a concept for Western New Yorkers to handle, then let's just admit we've slipped another rung and do without a zoo. That will be an embarrassment, too, but at least it won't be at the expense of the animals.

Anthony J. Schill

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