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National Zoo's Ape Facility Ordered Shut
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WASHINGTON - The Federal Zoo Oversight Commission has ordered the National Zoo to shut the door to its ape enclosure. "It seems that it should have been an obvious move," remarked Commissioner Bryce DeCarta, "You don't want apes just roaming around in the zoo, nor do you want zoo patrons freely walking in and out of the enclosure. Why something like this required federal intervention is beyond me."

"Frankly, the commission doesn't understand our apes, or our visitors," said Zachary 'Zippy' Finkenel, the zoo's Ape House Director, "These creatures are like family. They are gentle giants, and they love people. When you see a little child reach up, inviting an ape to pick her up, and you see that ape lift the child in the air, I tell you there's no feeling like that in the world."

"I've been to the Zoo, but I honestly didn't know they let the apes roam around," said the head of the Smithsonian Institution, Lawrence M. Small. The National Zoo is part of The Smithsonian Institution and is subject to federal review. Small continued, "I can tell you, you don't want to get on the wrong end of animal law. We'll look into this, and if the allegations are true, heads are going to roll. I assure you of that."

After the dramatic escape of a gorilla from the Dallas Zoo last month, resulting in injuries to zoo patrons and the death of a rare and valuable animal, the FZOC has been cracking down on zoos that don't abide by federal safety regulations. "One zoo was found to have a fifteen-foot boa constrictor named 'Huggy' roaming in its petting zoo. Another charged people thirty dollars to 'swim with the sharks.' But this takes the prize for most genuinely idiotic idea yet," said DeCarta.
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