Monday, April 2, 2007
On Sunday, my brother Eric and I visited the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn. It’s a small zoo, so it’s understandable that they wouldn’t have the mega fauna one would see at the Bronx Zoo. But what it lacks in lions and gorillas, it more than makes up for in a diverse collection of animal skin diseases painstakingly collected over the years.
Prospect Park Zoo is THE destination for fans of dermal conditions as it boasts the largest collection of endangered rashes and mangy tumorous growthy things of any publicly funded zoo.
The zoo has everything from “hideously infected/misshapen baboon butt syndrome” to the rarely seen in captivity “every prairie dog in the colony is going bald in the exact same spot-itis.”
This amazing collection is only possible, thanks to a generous lack of donations from the Horowitz Family Foundation and the invaluable expertise of zoo staff.
“Ringworm, that pops up overnight. Anyone can grow ringworm…but eyeball rot…that takes a careful neglect only an animal expert is capable of,” said Carlos Stevens, a homeless man living in the penguin exhibit.
After visiting the zoo, be sure to stop by the gift shop, where you can purchase adorable BeanieBaby brand canker-sore plush toys and a lovely calendar featuring Lobo, everyone’s favorite ostrich whose beak fell off.