The Streets of New York Are Full of Animals

It must be a joke, there was no way that this happened again. Another animal is out exploring the streets of New York.  Not sure if the Bronx Zoo got the memo but traditionally zoos keep animals on the inside of the walls. Maybe they should consider changing the name to the Bronx Animal Hotel with its new motto, “Check in, check out, it’s all the same to us.” 

In all fairness to the zoo, in this case there is not a dangerous, venomous snake out on the loose but rather a lovely Peahen. Dolled up and strutting around like that, they should probably check the Upper East Side.

And like most escaped animals these days, our little Peahen began her very own Twitter feed to chronicle her big city adventures. After all, she can’t be outdone by the escaped cobra.

One has to wonder if maybe the Bronx Zoo is seeing some slowdown in monthly visitors and is in search of a little Public Relations goodness? Two animals in two months is a bit negligent to be a coincidence. Most zoos go days… weeks…months… forever without a bird flying the coop (pun intended).

Understanding that the animal escapes are in fact accidental, it’s easy to see both the good and bad side to this kind of publicity and attention.

The Bronx Zoo is filling the headlines these days in a very crowded news marketplace! And, with strong celebrity animals, they are surely attracting a slew of tourists. To be honest, who wouldn’t mind meeting the Bronx Zoo Cobra (now that his is back in the cage.) His tweets were some of the best entertainment Twitter has ever seen.

Now on to the bad, which is a bit more obvious. There’s an old saying: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” In this case, however, there may be. People have no interest in getting mauled on a nice stroll through the zoo – there is enough of that to worry about in New York. They may be a bit hesitant to go to a recreational facility that seems to have lost almost all control over deadly animals. What’s next, the Bronx Zoo Tiger? “Just ate a busload of tourists. And indeed, They’re Grrrrreat!” (Note to the Bronx Zoo Tiger: When you do get out, give us a call and we’ll handle your twitter!)

It is understandable accidents happen, even two in a row, but from a PR standpoint we would suggest some damage control. Going on record with the following does not make people feel any better:

“The birds stray occasionally, and have been doing so since 1926, said the zoo’s director, Jim Breheny, who urged the public ‘not to follow or harass’ the peahen.” [Reported in The Times]

Here are some suggestions for statements that may help repair your image:

  •  “We have taken precautions to ensure it does not happen again.”
  • “The public is completely safe.”
  • “We will be reinforcing our security measures. “

Any of these would make people feel a lot better about their next trip to visit the nice zoo animals. That, and try to keep your animals in check for at least the next couple of months.

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