This is a bit of a departure from the usual heritage theme around here -- but I've always said that history isn't just something behind us and in the past, it is also in the here and now.
Putting together The Zoo War back just before Timespanner kicked off in 2008 led me to explore not just how menageries became zoos here in New Zealand, but also the fate (in many cases sad and avoidable) of the animals.
I've been watching with rising concern the recent spate of news articles and telly commentaries about the Zion Wildlife Gardens up near Whangarei. Now, the family issues, the who-did-what-and-where debates are something else entirely. There are courts and conferences between the folks concerned to try sorting all that out. But, whenever there is pressure from financial quarters when it comes to animal parks and zoos -- the welfare of the animals tends to be what's on the line. Every time.
Visit Save the Big Cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens on Facebook. This is a campaign to try to convince the local territorial authorities, and even ministers in government, to recognise the park and its animals as a valuable and intrinsic asset for the Northland region, and the wider nation.