GB No. 2, summer 1990
The zoological garden in ŁódĽ, like most other Zoos, is funded through the municipal budget. Little wonder then, that the Zoo's director tries to live in peace with the city's authorities. Recently (February 1989) this association blossomed in the form of a very strange agreement. The director promised to help to exterminate stray dogs. Zoo staff were made responsible for catching the wandering animals and the vets were to exterminate them, humanely of course. The drugs for putting the animals to sleep were paid for by money obtained by the Zoo from the West.
Unfortunately, the veterinary surgeons demonstrated a total lack of sympathy for the initiative from above. They refused point-blank to fulfil their newly acquired duties. Neither requests nor threats helped - the doctors and technicians would not yield. True to his word, the director presented the vets with an ultimatum. They in turn reacted with the letters of resignation - all of which were accepted.
Between February and May animals in ŁódĽ Zoo were deprived of all veterinary care. In May, two vets were employed, one of whom resigned on the spot.
People say that no one is irreplaceable... Well, a vet with experience working in a zoo IS someone irreplaceable. No university teaches this type of knowledge.
When something important happens at the ŁódĽ Zoo, it's former employees are present. The zoo is their passion, their whole world. Even as students they were frequent guests there. One of them had been employed for 18 years at the Zoo, including a training- course in the USA. The workers remember how the vets used to walk around the garden from early morning, scrupulously checking every corner. Anyone failing to follow their directives was severely reprimanded. On the other hand, one could always count on their devoted and expert help.
The new vet inaugurated his career thus: when brought a litter of kittens to be put to sleep, he left them to the caretaker to "see to it". The caretaker (nota bene sacked from the post of veterinary technician for tormenting animals) did see to the matter... with a spade!
These are the facts. There will be no comment. There is nothing to add.
Zofia T. Domaniewska