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San Diego Zoo’s entry in 2024 Rose Bowl Parade wins prize for honest reckoning with its own existence

Heavy Message Can’t Sink Float

The winning float was entitled “It Began With a Roar,” indicating the bloodthirsty ferocity of the wild beasts adorning it and the absolute necessity of keeping them safely behind bars.
The winning float was entitled “It Began With a Roar,” indicating the bloodthirsty ferocity of the wild beasts adorning it and the absolute necessity of keeping them safely behind bars.
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“In recent years,” says San Diego Zookeeper Randy Cage, “many zoos, including the world-famous zoo here in San Diego, have come under fire from various disgruntled animal lover-types who say we really shouldn’t keep wild beasts in cages. We try to point out all the good we do in terms of research and conservation, and in alerting the general public about the terrible endangerment of countless species brought on by climate change, but they still point to the tiger and say something about how it’s a crime to confine such a noble creature to an enclosure within a tourist attraction. We wanted to make a float that would help remind folks that without the enclosure, they might find themselves admiring that tiger from the inside, if you take my meaning. God told man to subdue the earth for a reason: because otherwise, the earth will absolutely subdue him, soft and helpless as he is. So yes, we mounted a magnificent display featuring a mighty lion, an intelligent ape, and a majestic polar bear. But we made sure to put ‘em behind bars where they belong, at least when there’s people about. I’m just glad the Rose Bowl committee understood what we were trying to convey, and rewarded our brave stand on behalf of the whole human race.”

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The winning float was entitled “It Began With a Roar,” indicating the bloodthirsty ferocity of the wild beasts adorning it and the absolute necessity of keeping them safely behind bars.
The winning float was entitled “It Began With a Roar,” indicating the bloodthirsty ferocity of the wild beasts adorning it and the absolute necessity of keeping them safely behind bars.
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“In recent years,” says San Diego Zookeeper Randy Cage, “many zoos, including the world-famous zoo here in San Diego, have come under fire from various disgruntled animal lover-types who say we really shouldn’t keep wild beasts in cages. We try to point out all the good we do in terms of research and conservation, and in alerting the general public about the terrible endangerment of countless species brought on by climate change, but they still point to the tiger and say something about how it’s a crime to confine such a noble creature to an enclosure within a tourist attraction. We wanted to make a float that would help remind folks that without the enclosure, they might find themselves admiring that tiger from the inside, if you take my meaning. God told man to subdue the earth for a reason: because otherwise, the earth will absolutely subdue him, soft and helpless as he is. So yes, we mounted a magnificent display featuring a mighty lion, an intelligent ape, and a majestic polar bear. But we made sure to put ‘em behind bars where they belong, at least when there’s people about. I’m just glad the Rose Bowl committee understood what we were trying to convey, and rewarded our brave stand on behalf of the whole human race.”

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